New product

Tamron 18-400 mm lens

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That’s no typo. Tamron has announced the 18-400 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (28-620 mm full frame equivalent) for APS-C DSLR cameras.

The company says the lens includes “the most advanced optical and mechanical designs,” an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system, and Vibration Compensation system.

A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming, Tamron advises.

The power-saving HLD motor produces “outstanding” driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.

The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.
The lens also features moisture-resistant construction, and the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.

The device is compatible with the TAP-in Console, an optional accessory product. This provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

The lens is 123.9 mm / 121.4 mm long (Canon/Nikon) and weighs 710 g / 705 g (Canon/Nikon).

Tamron says its 18-400 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD lens in Canon and Nikon mounts will be available in late July.

Zeiss Milvus 35 mm lens

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Zeiss has unveiled a new lens for full-frame DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon: the Milvus 35 mm f/1.4. The company suggests the lens is “particularly suitable” for portrait photography, but also notes it is “perfectly at home” when used for landscape photography.

The manual focus lens is protected against dust and splashes and features a metal barrel.

With aspherical lens elements, special glass materials and advanced correction, Zeiss says it has given the lens a completely new optical design, delivering photos which are practically free from chromatic aberrations.

The lens, adds the company, is also suitable for film productions: the manual focus with a large rotation angle can be operated with the aid of a Zeiss Lens Gear with a follow-focus system. The de-click function allows the aperture to be set continuously in the version for Nikon cameras. Zeiss also has matched the colour characteristics of the ten Milvus lenses. Filmmakers can therefore switch between the focal lengths and still have a uniform colour look.

The Zeiss Milvus 35 f/1.4 lens will be available in July. No Canadian price has been announced as yet, but its recommended retail price in Europe is 1,999 euros.

Three Nikon wide-angle lenses

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10-20 mm

Nikon has three new wide-angle Nikkor lenses on the way – the ultra-wide zoom and lightweight DX-format AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20 mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15 mm f/3.5-4.5E ED (FX-format) circular fisheye zoom, and the AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.4E ED. Both the 8-15 mm and 28 mm lenses are the latest additions to the Gold Ring Series of Nikkor lenses, a mark identifying Nikon’s premium lens offerings.

The new 10-20 mm lens is said to combine superior image quality and an attainable price. It features the equivalent of 3.5 stops of Vibration Reduction (VR) performance, utilizes Nikon’s Pulse Motor technology for super-fast and quiet AF operation, and the optical formula contains three aspherical elements for excellent image quality with minimal distortion even at the widest focal length. The lens has a close minimum focusing distance of 8.6 inches (0.22 m).

8-15 mm

The 8-15 mm is Nikon’s first fisheye zoom, an FX-format lens providing a 180-degree vertical / horizontal angle of view on full frame cameras, and zooms to a non-circular fisheye view on the long end of the focal range. The lens is constructed of lightweight magnesium alloy and employs internal focusing (IF) to retain its compact size, even while focusing.  It is also uses an electromagnetic diaphragm, for consistent exposure during high speed shooting, or smooth exposure control while capturing video.

The optical formula of the 8-15 mm zoom consists of three ED elements to reduce chromatic aberration, and two aspherical lens elements to minimize coma, even at the widest aperture, and enable a more compact lens size. Additionally, the front lens element is coated with Nikon’s non-stick Fluorine coat to help resist dirt, fingerprints and smudge, while Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat helps reduce ghost and flare.

28 mm

The 28 mm lens has a nine blade rounded diaphragm, in a body composed of lightweight magnesium alloy and featuring dust and water drop resistant sealing to withstand the elements, combined with a fluorine coating to resist dirt and smudges. The optical construction consists of 14 elements in nine groups, with three aspherical elements that virtually eliminate coma, aberration and distortion, with two ED glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration, says the company. The lens also uses Nikon’s Nano-crystal coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flare.

The Nikon AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15 mm f/3.5-4.5E ED, AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20 mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, and AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.4E ED will be available in mid-summer for a  manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1699.95, $414.95 and $2699.95, respectively.

Nikon W300

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Nikon’s Coolpix W300 is a rugged compact camera designed to capture and share high-quality images and 4K UHD video. The waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof W300 features an improved grip and handling, a 3-inch LCD display and a 5x optical zoom Nikkor lens, plus built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth via the Nikon SnapBridge app.

Featuring a 16-megapixel CMOS back-side illuminated (BSI) sensor, the W300 offers a waterproof (100ft. / 30 m), freezeproof (14F / -10C), dustproof, and enhanced shockproof (7.9ft. / 2.4 m) camera body with increased grip area and ergonomically improved shutter button placement.

It also has built-in GPS plus Points of Interest (POI) and mapping functions, as well as an altimeter and depth gauge. The camera also has a dedicated button to activate an LED light for illumination, and a new Active Guide function to display location and altitude data.

Additionally, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, images can transfer automatically to a photographer’s smart device so that family and friends can instantly view vacation highlights. When connected, users can also operate the camera remotely with a smart device to capture new perspectives and explore their creative potential.

The 5x optical zoom offers 10x dynamic fine zoom. The camera’s hybrid VR technology provides up to three stops of compensation to capture sharp images and smooth 4K UHD (3840×2160/30p) videos. Video features include a variety of creative functions, such as time-lapse and superlapse recording.

The Nikon Coo;pix W300 will be available in yellow and orange for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $499.95.

Sony full-frame lenses

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Sony has announced two new additions to its full-frame E-mount lens lineup, the FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM and the FE 12-24 mm f/4 G.

The 16-35 mm zoom is the first wide-angle G Master model, and features exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness, says the company, with an optical design that includes five aspherical elements, two of which are Sony’s original XA (extreme aspherical) elements that reduce aberration and deliver the ultimate resolution throughout the entire zoom and aperture range, it notes. The front XA element is the largest XA element ever produced, Sony claims. Additionally, two ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass elements keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximizing resolution, and Sony’s Nano AR coating suppresses internal reflections to ensure excellent image contrast and clarity.

The lens features a near circular aperture shape at all settings, producing images with sharply focused subjects and beautifully defocused backgrounds or “bokeh.” It also has two DDSSMs (Direct Drive SSM) that compose a floating focusing system and ensure that AF acquisition is speedy and quiet.

The 16-35 mm lens is also dust and moisture resistant, has a fluorine coating on the front lens that helps to both prevent dust or grease marks and remove them easily if they do become a trouble.  There is also a customizable focus hold button and a hood release button.

The 12-24 mm lens produces outstanding image quality in a compact, lightweight design, notes Sony. weighing in at approximately 20 oz.

The lens features an innovative optical design with four aspherical elements that ensure excellent corner to corner sharpness and resolution. Additionally, the lens has three ED glass elements and one Super ED glass element to minimize chromatic aberration throughout the entire image. The lens also includes Sony’s Nano AR coating.

The 12-24 mm lens includes a DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) for fast, quiet and precise AF performance, plus a customizable focus hold button and focus mode switch.  It is also dust and moisture resistant.

The Sony FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM will ship this August and will be sold for about $3,000.

The FE 12-24 mm f/4 G will ship this July and sell for about $2,300.

Olympus Tough TG-5

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Olympus has unveiled the Tough TG-5, featuring an f/2.0 lens, a new high-performance backlit 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor, TruePic VIII Image Processor, plus a Field Sensor System that records movement and environmental data.

The company says the 25-100 mm (equivalent) lens works in concert with the new sensor and the dual quad core processor to deliver the highest image quality of any Tough model to date.

The built-in Field Sensor System, consisting of a GPS sensor, manometer, compass, and temperature sensor, records movement and environmental data independently or in conjunction with still images or videos. Data logs can be simultaneously displayed with images and videos using the Olympus Image Track app.

As its name implies, the Tough TG-5 is waterproof to 50 feet (15 m), crushproof to 220 pounds of force (100 kg of force), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1 m), freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C) and dustproof. The camera now includes Anti-Fog Lens Cover Glass.

New video functions include 4K Movie to capture Ultra HD video at four times the resolution of Full HD. Full HD 120 fps High-Speed Movie lets users capture slow-motion, and 4K Time Lapse automatically creates short videos of long periods of time.

The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5 will be available in red and black beginning in June with an estimated street price of $579.99.

Sony a9

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Okay sports and wildlife photographers, Sony has a camera you’ll want to look at. The new full-frame mirrorless camera, with what Sony claims is the world’s first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor and 24.2-megapixel resolution, is said to deliver blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 fps for up to 241 RAW / 362 jpeg images.

The alpha 9 also offers silent, vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec; 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second; an Ethernet port for file transfer; Dual SD card slots; and extended battery life.

The camera also has 5-axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage.

Sony says the full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. The sensor is paired with a new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

The 693 phase detection AF points cover approximately 93 percent of the frame, so the fasting moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The a9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter with “absolutely no” mechanical mirror or shutter noise.

The new Z battery is said to deliver approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries.

One of the dual SD media card slots supports UHS-II cards.

The processing power of the camera’s components deliver faster AF/AE calculations while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer.

The camera’s AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times.

The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25 percent faster performance when compared to the a7R II, claims Sony.

The a9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder delivering “extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction.” The new Tru-Finder, with what Sony says is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony alpha camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and “outstanding” corner to corner sharpness. The EVF also utilizes a Zeiss T* coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up, according to Sony, to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the a7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, says the company. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps to best match the action.

For those who thought the sync terminal was a thing of the past – tada! – there is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly.

Sony notes the a9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes.  The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the a9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration,” which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc.) to a custom button. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.

For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

The a9 camera features an all-new Sony battery with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models.

The sensor is back-illuminated, allowing it to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality, says Sony. The sensor also enables an ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 204800.

The a9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW.

Video? Of course. 4K video? Absolutely. It offers 4K (3840 x 2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the Super 35 mm size.

Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.

There are a number of new accessories including grips and multiple battery adaptors.

The Sony alpha 9 will ship in May for about $6,000.

Sony 100-400 mm lens

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Sony has introduced a new E-mount lens, the FE 100-400 mm f/4.5–5.6 GM OSS. This full-frame lens offers what the company calls “incredibly fast, precise” autofocus capabilities, a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional and custom functions.

The company says the lens produces outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the lens’ zoom and focus ranges. The design features 22 lens elements configured in 16 different groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements, all of which minimize chromatic aberration. The lens also has Sony’s Nano AR coating to reduce unwanted reflections.

The zoom also features a combination of double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM actuator, which also ensures precise, quiet operation. The double motor system allows rapid focus lens drive acceleration, while high precision positioning control and a newly optimized AF algorithm ensure the subject is quickly found and focused on.

The lens weighs in at 1,395 grams / 49.3 ounces, making it among the lightest in its class.

The lens has a zoom torque adjustment ring allowing the user to adjust the level of torque in the ring to zoom faster or slower depending on their shooting style. There is also a focus hold button that can also be assigned to variety of functions including focus mode selection, AF area selection or the Eye AF lock feature.

The telephoto zoom lens is dust and moisture resistant as well1, and has fluorine coating on the front lens that makes it easier to remove dust or grease. There is also a removable tripod mount.

The zoom features built-in optical image stabilization, ensuring sharp images can be captured during handheld shooting. It also offers a minimum focusing range of 0.98 m / 3.22 ft, and a 9 bladed circular aperture design.

The 100-400 mm lens is compatible with both the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters.

The Sony FE 100-400 mm GM lens is scheduled to ship in July for about $3,399.

Fujifilm 110 mm, 23 mm GF lenses

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23 mm lens

Fujifilm has announced two new Fujinon GF lenses for its GFX 50S medium-format mirrorless digital camera system, the GF110 mm f/2 R LM WR (equivalent to 87 mm) and the GF23 mm f/4 R LM WR (equivalent to 18 mm).

The company notes the G Mount has a short flange back distance of 26.7 mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting and achieves edge-to-edge sharpness. All GF lenses have been designed to support sensors of over 100-megapixels.

The company says the 110 mm lens is perfect for portraits, while the 23 mm lens is suited for landscape and architectural photography. Fujifilm states that, despite the super-wide angle of view of the latter lens, distortion is kept to a minimum.

110 mm lens

Both new lenses feature fast and quiet autofocus by using a linear motor, are dust and weather resistant, and are capable of operating in environments as cold as 14°F / -10°C.

The 110 mm lens has 14 elements in 9 groups, including 4 ED lens elements: Super ED lens and three ED lenses for suppressed chromatic aberration and high resolution performance all the way to the edges, with a 9 blade aperture. The 23 mm lens has12 groups and 15 elements construction using two aspherical lenses, one super ED lens, and three ED lenses, and uses a 9 blade aperture, plus Nano GI coating to suppress ghosting and flare.

The GF110 mm f/2 R LM WR will be available in late June for $3,599.99 and the GF23 mm f/4 R LM WR will also be available in late June for $3,399.99.

Panasonic 8-18 mm lens

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Panasonic has announced a new Micro Four Thirds zoom lens, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH., the equivalent of a 16-36 mm lens in full format.

The lens features Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosting and flaring. The lens also boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof.

Filter size is 67 mm.

Comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses, according to Panasonic, effectively suppresses spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from centre to corners.

The company also notes the new lens excels in video recording performance. In addition to silent operation achieved by an inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly capture brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming, says the company, which also notes the AF tracking performance when zooming is also improved thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.