Posts Tagged ‘optics’

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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Lensbaby Pinhole Photo Contest

Lensbaby is celebrating Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day by having a contest. You should enter! Photographers can submit up to two photographs. Any pinhole photo, whether taken with a Lensbaby Pinhole/Zone plate Optic or not, is eligible. For the complete contest info, and to enter, go to www.lensbaby.com/pinholecontest. Read more about the contest and prizes below.

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Sigma’s “Not a Fisheye” Lens

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This weekend at PMA in Anaheim, Sigma announced a whopping new lineup of lenses, including the 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM—the first ultra wide zoom lens with a minimum focal length of 8mm, designed specifically for APS-C size image sensors. The first thing you think when you see this compact lens is, “Hey, look at that Fisheye lens,” but you’re absolutely wrong (as I was). In fact, the curved glass is actually the “hybrid aspherical lens” with two “glass mold elements [to] give excellent correction for distortion and astigmatism.” Sigma’s David Metz even joked that the unofficial name of this 8-16mm lens was the “Not a Fisheye Lens.”

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Also introduced by Sigma was the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, which is being marketed as the perfect upgrade to the standard 18-50mm F11 kit lens of so many entry-level D-SLRs. Besides these two mentioned, Sigma introduced three other lenses. There is no official pricing for the new optics, mainly because they are so new that they haven’t even gotten a chance to really shoot with them to see what price points they should be at, but they will be available at the upcoming WPPI show in Las Vegas for people to check out in person.

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Lensbaby Birthday Party

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Tomorrow marks the sixth birthday of Lensbaby, maker of that amazing Optic Swap System for capturing stunning selective focus images. To celebrate their birthday here at PMA in Anaheim, Lensbaby is “throwing a big social media bash,” as they’re calling it, and giving away a ton of gifts that have been donated by their friends in the photo industry. Here’s the info on how to win, below. And make sure to stop by the Lensbaby booth if you’re at PMA at 1:00pm tomorrow, 2/22, when they celebrate with cupcakes! You know the DP team will be there.

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From Lensbaby:

The Grand Prize will be a Lensbaby Composer plus all 6 Optic Swap Optics – one for each year of our life. In addition, lucky participants will get fabulous photo gifts donated by our friends including Bay Photo, Digital Photo Academy, Focal Press, Hoodman, Joby, Kubota Image Tools, Lenspen, Plywerk, Nasty Clamps, SmugMug, Tamrac, Trek-Tech and others.

There are 7 ways to enter, and you get one raffle ticket for each way you enter giving you many chances to score a birthday present. Enter now through March 5th. We’ll announce winners in mid March.
The seven ways to win:

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