28 mm

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.

Leica 28 mm lens

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leica-28-mmEverything old is new again. Here’s the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, looking just like the original, manufactured from 1955 (screw mount) until 1963. The optical design and mechanical construction are identical to those of its predecessor.

It sports an exceptionally short length of less than two centimetres, a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw for precise pre-focusing.

The optical design of 6 elements in 4 groups is identical to that of its ancestor. The historic optical design of the original lens has remained completely unchanged, says the company. However, the outward appearance of the new lens has been harmonized with the contemporary looks of the current portfolio of Leica M-Lenses. This applies to the Leica M bayonet mount with 6-bit coding, the shape of the focusing lock button, the diameter of the aperture ring and the style of the knurling on the barrel and rings. The style and construction of the lens hood reflects the original.

The lens is made in Germany and assembled in an elaborate process entirely by hand. Therefore, if you want one, you’ll have to pre-order it, and wait. Leica says that, “due to the strong demand, long delivery times must be taken into account, especially in the first few months.”

Three Leica M lenses

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Summicron-M 35 mm f2 ASPH, now also in silver
Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH, now also in silver

Leica has introduced next-generation models of three of its classic M lenses: the Leica M Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH, Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH and Leica Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH. Leica says each delivers enhanced image performance and quality, thanks to new optical designs.

Additional improvements to the lenses include a more robust construction, now featuring a full metal rectangular lens hood with thread mount, and a threaded protection ring for the front of the lens when the hood is not attached. The lens cap is now also made of metal.

Summicron-M 28 mm f2 ASPH
Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH

The 35 mm prime lens delivers superior image performance and a unique bokeh, notes the company. Images are said to be pin-sharp with rich contrast, and almost completely free from distortion. The optical design has seven elements in five groups, and the lens weighs 252 g without hood and lens caps. The lens will be available in either black or silver anodized finish.

At its maximum aperture, the 28 mm f/2 is said to deliver rich contrast, a soft and smooth bokeh, and extremely high resolution. Improvements within the optical design in this new generation lens have made it possible to achieve superior image performance across the entire image field, Leica says. There’s also significant reduction of image field curvature for better resolution of details from corner to corner. The lens has nine elements in six groups and weighs 257 g without hood and caps.

Elmarit-M 28 mm f2.8 ASPH
Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH

Leica says the 28 mm f/2.8 lens is the most compact lens in the entire portfolio of Leica M lenses. Compared to the previous model, this new generation lens offers significantly reduced image field curvature, which brings considerably improved image performance with high resolution and brilliant resolution of details, the company says. Leica says the lens is practically distortion-free from infinity to its closest focusing distance of 0.7 m. This lens has eight elements in six groups and weighs 175 g without hood and caps.

While there’s been no official word on Canadian pricing or availability, the lenses likely will be available by the beginning of February.

Zeiss lenses

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Zeiss Otus 28 mm ZF.2
Zeiss Otus 28 mm ZF.2

The Zeiss brand has been associated with high quality optics for something on the order of 160 years, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The company has just announced the Zeiss Otus 28 mm f/1.4 lens, with ZE or ZF.2 mount for DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon. The company says the lens offers “unrivalled” image quality, “unseen until now” in wide-angle photography, even with a wide-open aperture.

Zeiss notes the lens shows off its strengths in landscape photography, with “stellar” performance in night photography especially when lots of open light sources dominate an image.

Developed to meet the high demands of professional photographers, the new lens has – like the two other focal lengths in the Otus family – inner focusing, a dial window and the well-known yellow labeling of the dials for easy legibility.

The lens is also said to stand out for its mechanical quality; the soft focus operation with the large rotation angle allows for the finest variations when focusing – only possible with metal construction – all-metal barrel with easy-to-grip focus ring.

The optical performance of the 28 mm lens is claimed to be outstanding thanks to its high image contrast all the way into the edges of the image – even at open aperture.

The lens consists of 16 elements in 13 groups. One of the lens elements has an aspheric optical surface and one element is aspheric on both sides. Eight other lens elements are made of special glass. The basis of the optical design is a Distagon. The special glass has anomalous partial dispersion, as is typical for an apochromatic lens. This corrects the longitudinal chromatic aberrations “superbly.” Bright-dark transitions in the image, in particular highlights, are depicted almost completely free of colour artifacts, says Zeiss. The floating elements design (the change of distances between certain lens elements when focusing) allows for “unrivalled” imaging performance along the entire focusing range.

You’ve got a bit of a wait for this lens. Zeiss says the Otus 28 mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and ZE lenses will be available in the second quarter of 2016.

Zeiss Loxia 21 mm
Zeiss Loxia 21 mm

Zeiss also has expanded its E-mount offerings for Sony full-frame cameras with the Loxia 21 mm f/2.8 featuring a new optical design based on the Distagon.

The new lens joins the Loxia 35 mm f/2 and Loxia 50 mm f/2 lenses.

The company notes the new lens will be of interest to cinematographers, as it has mechanical aperture setting and de-activation of the aperture click stop.
Sony alpha 7 series camera users, the electronic interface transmits lens data (EXIF) as well as the focus movements and – if desired by the photographer – activates the magnifying function of the camera.

Zeiss says the new lens has been specially developed for digital sensors. The newly calculated lenses consist of 11 lens elements in nine groups. The underlying optical design is a Distagon.

The lens is said to offer high resolution along the entire image field, low distortion and colour fringing, and an appealing bokeh.

The lens is made entirely of metal and takes a 52 mm filter.

The Zeiss Loxia 21 mm f/2.8 lens will be available starting in December.

Sony E-mount lenses

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sony lensesSony has announced several new alpha E-mount lenses and converters; four FE full-frame E-mount lenses complement the alpha 7 camera lineup. They are a Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35 mm f/1.4 ZA wide angle lens, an FE 90 mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens, an FE 24-240 mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens, and an FE 28 mm f/2 wide angle prime lens, as well as two sets of ultra-wide and fisheye converters, one set exclusive for the new full-frame FE 28 mm lens and another set for use with existing 16 mm and 20 mm APS-C E-mount lenses.

With a minimum focusing distance of approximately 12 inches, the 35 mm lens is the first E-mount lens to feature a fast aperture of f/1.4. The lens has a 9-bladed circular aperture, and the company says the lens produces excellent corner-to-corner sharpness – even at maximum aperture – thanks to its advanced optical design with 3 aspherical elements including one Sony advanced aspherical element. It also features Zeiss T* coating that suppresses flare and ghosting for natural colour reproduction and excellent contrast.

The lens has a Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) system that enables whisper-quiet precision focusing, even at the shallowest depth of field, says Sony. A dedicated aperture ring can be set for smooth, continuous operation – ideal for movie-making – or with click-stops. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant.

Designed for close-ups and portraits, the new 90 mm lens is the first mid-telephoto macro lens for the alpha E-mount line,  and features built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization, allowing for sharp images at up to 1:1 magnification, even when shooting handheld. The smooth, quiet mechanism drives two ‘floating’ focus groups independently, ensuring extremely precise focus positioning, the company notes. The macro lens maintains the same overall length at all focal distances and has a focus hold button and sliding focus ring that can instantly switch between manual and auto focus. It is also dust and moisture resistant.

Sony’s 24-240 mm lens includes five aspherical elements and one ED glass element, contributing to what Sony says is “excellent optical performance in a compact design.” It features an advanced linear motor that drives the focusing mechanism for quick, smooth response throughout the extensive zoom range, as well as built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization and dust and moisture resistance.

The 28 mm prime features a high-grade aluminum finish, a 9-blade circular aperture, three aspherical lens elements – including one advanced aspherical element – and two ED glass elements that work together to ensure excellent edge-to-edge sharpness. All lens surfaces are multi-coated to suppress flare and ghosting with backlit shots.

The inner focus mechanism is driven by an advanced linear actuator, allowing for whisper-quiet AF, says Sony. Overall lens length will remain constant during focusing.

The 28 mm wide angle lens can be combined with either the Ultra-wide Converter or Fisheye Converter to respectively increase angle of view to 21 mm or 16 mm fisheye with full 180° coverage. Maximum aperture of each converter when mounted on the 28 mm lens is f/2.8 and f/3.5 respectively.

Sony suggests in a first for alpha lens converters, corresponding EXIF data for each adapter is generated when they are attached to the lens.

The new wide angle converters for E-mount APS-C camera bodies are interesting, to say the least. The VCL-ECU2 converter is compatible with the E 16 mm f/2.8 and E 20 mm f/2.8 APS-C lenses, boosting ultra-wide angle performance to 12 mm (with the 16 mm) or 16 mm (20 mm). The Fisheye Converter creates exaggerated perspective effects for both lenses with full 180° coverage. Each converter sports a smart new black finish.

The Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35 mm f/1.4 ZA full-frame wide angle prime will be available in April for $1949.99.

The 90 mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens will be available in July for $1349.99.

Sony’s FE 24-240 mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens will be available in March for $1199.99.

The Sony FE 28 mm f/2 wide angle prime will be available in March for $529.99.

The Ultra-wide Converter and Fisheye Converter will be available in March for $299.99 and $359.99, respectively.

VCL-ECU2 Ultra-Wide and VCL-ECF2 Fisheye APS-C converters will be available in May for $159.99 and $189.99, respectively.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.8G

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Nikon has announced the wide-angle AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.8G, an FX-format lens.

It offers Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghost and flare, delivering what the company calls stunning sharpness and versatility for both photos and HD video.

The lens features 11 optical elements in nine groups with two aspherical elements.

There are two focus modes, manual (M) and autofocus with manual override (M/A).

The lens is equipped with a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for smooth, silent and precise autofocus operation.

The AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.8G is scheduled to be available at the end of May at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $749.95.