Posts Tagged ‘lens’

How-To: Understanding & Applying Depth of Field

How-To: Understanding & Applying Depth of Field
Text and Photos by Lynne Eodice

Depth of field is the zone in your photograph that’s in sharp focus in front of and behind your main subject, and which has a profound effect on the way your images look. Here are two essential terms to know:

• Shallow depth of field — Characterized by a blurred background and/or foreground.

• Great depth of field — Denoted by overall image sharpness.

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Gary Fong GearGuard Lens Lock

Gary Fong has announced that their new GearGuard Lens Lock for Canon and Nikon brand lenses is now available. At $29.95, these locks are meant to give the pro photographer security and peace of mind when out in the field. “Once the Lens Lock is attached to the camera’s rear optic, the irremovable device renders the lens useless to thieves,” according to the manufacturer. ” When twisted into place, the Lens Lock releases ‘teeth’ that anchor the security cap to the bayonet on the lens mount for a flawless fit.  Made of industrial strength plastic, the Lens Lock can be paired with the GearGuard Security Cable and Combination Lock and attached to a secure anchor point for safe storage or attached to other gear inside a camera bag for added protection and loss prevention.”

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How-To: Options for Close-Up & Macro Shooting

How-To: Options for Close-Up & Macro Shooting
Text and Photos by Lynne Eodice

There is a small, intimate world that most people overlook, but it can be a rewarding experience for the photographer who chooses to explore it with a good close-up or macro lens (like the above photo of lavender). All you need is patience, a good eye, and a special piece of equipment or two.

Options

There are several ways to shoot close-ups with your DSLR: with the close-up setting on your camera, a macro lens, extension tubes or bellows, or a close-up “lens” that attaches to the front of your lens like a filter. Although the close-up lens/filter is the least expensive option, it is inferior optically to a true macro lens or extension tubes or bellows.

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Leica Announces SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH Lens

Leica has announced the SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH—a “revised version of the Leica M rangefinder system’s popular wide-angle lens.” New features include a full-metal, rectangular, screw-mount lens hood and a floating element, described as, “the lenses behind the aperture blades are constructed as a floating group that changes its position relative to the front lens group during focusing.” The lens will be available in July for $4,995. More from Leica below:

From Leica:

Solms, Germany (May 16, 2010) – Leica Camera AG presents the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH, a revised version of the Leica M rangefinder system’s popular wide-angle lens. The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. sets a whole new standard in the fast wide-angle lens portfolio, utilizing the latest developments in the fields of optics and precision engineering. Regardless of the situation, from selective focus in the close-up range, high-contrast available light applications or landscape shots with immense depth of field, the lens delivers incomparable results.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. differentiates itself from its predecessor by offering a floating element:  the lenses behind the aperture blades are constructed as a floating group that changes its position relative to the front lens group during focusing. This ensures outstanding imaging performance at closer focusing distances.

Additionally, the new LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. features a full-metal, rectangular, screw-mount lens hood that significantly contributes to the compact dimensions of the lens. The optical design has been optimized for use on the digital Leica M models and reveals the full extent of the lens’ superior performance, especially when mounted on the LEICA M9. The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. also delivers excellent results on analogue M models and is predestined to become an indispensible component of every M system.

“Thanks to the sum of its qualities, this 35 mm lens is a universal tool for every photographer,” says Stefan Daniel, Head of Product Management at Leica Camera AG. “Its moderate wide-angle characteristics, on the one hand, and its natural reproduction of perspectives, on the other, make it ideal for a particularly broad spectrum of photographic uses ranging from portraiture to landscapes. Having produced countless iconic images in the history of photography, lenses of this focal length are counted among the classical entry-level lenses for building an M camera outfit.”

Even wide open, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. offers an optical quality without precedent in the field of compact 35 mm lenses: outstanding imaging performance over the entire focusing range, from infinity to minimum focus, excellent contrast even in the finest structures, superb rendition of details across the entire image field, good field flattening and, stopped down to f2 and onwards, almost complete freedom from coma effects.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is a nine-lens design, five of which are manufactured from glasses with a high refraction index. One lens element has an aspherical (non-spherically formed) surface that makes a significant contribution to the compact construction of the lens. Combined with its light weight of only 11 ounces, this lens is an ideal choice for a light travelling outfit or reportage assignments.

Like all other Leica lenses, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. was designed and developed by Leica’s optical specialists in Solms , Germany , and represents a perfect combination of optical and technical expertise. A particularly reliable product with enduring value, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is manufactured from only the best materials and assembled in an elaborate process entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and meticulous manufacturing procedures guarantees the consistently excellent quality of every single Leica lens.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is sold with a particularly high-quality, all-metal lens hood. The hood not only protects the lens effectively against reduction of contrast by extraneous light but also against damage and accumulation of dirt on the front lens element. The lens hood should always remain mounted whenever the lens and camera are in use.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. will be available in July 2010 at authorized Leica dealers for $4,995. For more information on Leica, please visit www.leica-camera.us.

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Nikon Announces NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens

Nikon has just announced the NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens. This pro lens can be used widely and is especially ideal for sports and nature photography.  Being the second generation of this lens, it has a lot of updates, including gaining an extra stop of IS with the new VR II image stabilization, as well as M/A and A/M focus modes.

The NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II will be available in May for $6,999.95. Full press release below.

From Nikon:

MELVILLE, N.Y. (April 27, 2010) –  Today, the evolution of the super telephoto lens continues as Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens which delivers optical excellence and stunning image quality for professional photographers. Ideal for bringing to life exquisite detail for sports, nature and travel photography, this new lens affords a constant maximum aperture of f/4 and rugged construction for maximum versatility. Continued refinements and new technologies such as Vibration Reduction (VR) II, Nano Crystal Coat, and optimized autofocus (AF) modes enhance functionality and improve performance for discerning FX and DX-format photographers.

“The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm lens builds upon a proven design for professional level optics by incorporating the latest Nikon lens technologies to give photographers the edge in the field, and the ability to capture the most intricate of details with extraordinary fidelity,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of Marketing at Nikon Inc.  “As both camera capabilities and the roles of photographers expand, NIKKOR enhancements will continue to meet demands and exceed expectations to remain the pinnacle of optical excellence for all types of photographers.”

Whether photographing the decisive play at home plate or predators of the Serengeti, the 200-400mm f/4 lens is an essential tool for photographers who require long focal lengths and maximum versatility without sacrificing image quality. The 200-400mm lens benefits from the addition of Nikon’s proprietary Nano Crystal Coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flaring.  The result is unparalleled clarity and sharpness in challenging lighting environments typical to sports venues or harsh sunlight.

Additionally, this new NIKKOR lens features Nikon VR II image stabilization, which is specifically engineered for each lens for maximum performance. VR II is a valuable asset to those shooting photos or HD video, as image blur introduced by camera shake and telephoto magnification is significantly reduced. Users are able to shoot up to four stops* slower than otherwise possible, overcoming many of the challenges of handheld shooting with such extreme focal lengths. VR functionality is further augmented with Automatic Panning Detection and an Active VR Mode to help compensate for movement from an unstable position such as a moving vehicle.  Additionally, VR is always engaged when shooting in the D-Movie mode on select Nikon D-SLRs, helping to stabilize HD video capture.

The new 200-400mm f/4 lens features a host of professional focusing features to further enhance functionality. Photographers can now select from three focus modes to match shooting conditions, including manual mode (M) and autofocus with manual override (M/A) mode, and new A/M mode which is used to avoid cancelling the AF setting by unintentionally moving the focus ring while shooting. The M/A and A/M focus modes enhance AF control with fast, secure switching from automatic and manual focus to adapt to personal shooting preference and techniques. Additionally, photographers can activate the AF Recall Mode at the press of a button that allows for instant return to a predetermined point of focus to confidently capture anticipated shots.

This professional lens is constructed of die-cast magnesium for maximum durability and is sealed to resist dust and moisture, with protective Meniscus glass to safeguard the lens’ front element. The optical formula features four Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements for superior sharpness, color and image quality, while minimizing chromatic aberration. The lens also features Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which enables high-speed autofocus performance with exceptional accuracy and powerful, super-quiet operation. Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating further suppresses flare and offers superior color consistency throughout the frame.

Price and Availability
The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is scheduled to be available at Nikon authorized dealers in late May 2010 with an estimated selling price of $6,999.95**. For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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