May 13th, 2014

Big Guns: Nikon Launches 400mm F/2.8 FL ED VR Super Telephoto Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter

Nikon unleashed a new super telephoto lens and tele extender this morning: the AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens and 1.4x magnifying AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III. Sports photographers and wildlife shooters should find a lot to like here; the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 features improved autofocus, exposure accuracy and speed, while the teleconverter TC-14E III multiplies the focal length of Nikon lenses by 1.4x with reportedly only a one-stop loss of exposure.

Nikon-AFS_400E_FL_ED_VR_a
Unfortunately for those photographers looking to get their hands on these big guns they don’t go on sale until August 2014 and they won’t be cheap. The the AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens will sell for $12,000, while the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III will retail for $500.

Read more of this story here.

January 6th, 2014

CES 2014: Sigma Intros 50mm F/1.4 and 18-200mm Lenses

Sigma-50mm-1-1.4-DGSigma introduced two new lenses at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today. The company says the 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM is “improved and redesigned” from the previous model, while the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM has been “reengineered and redesigned” from its predecessor.

Pricing and availability has not been announced for either lens, which, as per usual, are expected to be available in a variety of lens mounts including for Canon and Nikon digital SLRs. More info in the press release after the jump.

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October 17th, 2013

Nikon Announces 24.2MP D5300 DSLR and Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Lens

Nikon-D5300_BK_18_140_frontNikon has just announced two new products for photographers: the prosumer-friendly 24.2MP, APS-C sensor-based D5300 digital SLR, and the pro-worthy AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G portrait lens.

The Nikon D5300 will go on sale this month as a kit with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,399. It will come in black, red, and gray color options, if you like your DSLR to have a little pizzazz.

The NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, which is the higher end product of the two and designed for both full-frame (FX-format) and APS-C (DX-format) cameras, goes on sale this month for $1,699.

Read the rest of the story about this Nikon news here.

October 16th, 2013

Sony Unveils Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras, New Lenses, and High-End Superzoom Model

Sony-7R_frontSony went where no camera manufacturer has gone before this morning, unveiling the world’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras: the 36.4-megapixel Alpha 7R and 24.3-megapixel Sony Alpha 7. Both compact system cameras use 35mm-sized Exmor-branded, CMOS image sensors but the Sony Alpha 7R has no optical low pass filter over its chip to help it capture more detail in photos. The Alpha 7, meanwhile, boasts a new Hybrid AF system, designed to quickly lock in focus on subjects.

Both cameras will go on sale this December, with the Sony Alpha 7R retailing for $2,300, body only, and the Sony Alpha 7, selling for $1,700, body only; or as a kit with a new 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens for $2,000.

You could also pair these full-frame mirrorless cameras with five new full-frame E-Mount lenses that Sony just unveiled. The new Sony E-Mount lenses include three Carl Zeiss-branded models: the Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA ($1,000) and Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA ($800) prime lenses, and the Vario Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS mid-range zoom ($1,200).

We’re curious what PDN readers think of the new Sony Alpha 7R and Alpha 7 mirrorless cameras. Does the addition of full-frame sensors make you want to give these these high-end compact system cameras a second look or do you plan to stick to your DSLR?

Read more of this story here with details on all of Sony’s announcements this morning and then leave your thoughts in the comments below.

October 3rd, 2013

New Leica Lens, Accessories and Firmware Update Announced

lenses 1381408_10151618598347343_1554405671_nLeica has added a new, wide-angle lens to its S medium-format system lineup. The Leica Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 ASPH delivers a 35mm (equivalent) angle of view. The lens, which is available immediately, comes in two versions, with the CS model offering an integrated central shutter for sync speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. The non-CS model’s maximum sync speed is 1/125th of a second. The CS version costs $7450, while the non-CS lens is priced at $6350.

A new firmware update is available for the S-system cameras: version 2.3.0.0 for the Leica S and version 1.3.0.0 for the Leica S2/S2-P. In addition to ensuring “optimum functionality” of the new lens when mounted on the S/S2/S2-P cameras, the firmware update provides enhancements to tethered shooting for DNG-compressed file output, the firmware update also enables the flash triggering signal to pass to the sync socket at all speeds. Additionally, users who install the firmware update will be able to store bracketing sequences and self-timer settings in user profiles. It also corrects errors experienced with the Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, including the lens’ focusing behavior. The firmware update can be downloaded from the Leica owners’ site (login required).

 

 

image002Leica also announced new accessories including a lightweight, carbon tripod and two ball heads. The former weighs 2.64 pounds, is compact enough for travel and the ball head “disappears” inside the tripod when in a collapsed position. A carrying case with strap and shoulder pad can be purchased separately. The two ball heads–the Leica 24 and 38–are compatible with all Leica cameras and, with a set of three quick-change plates, users can move from one camera to another without switching plates. Both models can hold up to, for example, a Leica M with a light lens. The Leica 38 ball head offers extra features including a tilt button, which locks the head so that it can only be moved in a vertical plane. The 38 also features a 360 degree panorama function.

The accessories will be available in November.

Accessory Prices:

Leica Traveller Tripod: $525.00

Tripod Bag: $125

Leica Ball Head 24: $285.00

Leica Ball Head 38: $390.00

Set of 3 exchangeable mounting plates for ball head 24 / 38: $70.00

September 5th, 2013

Fuji Adds Fast, 23mm Prime Lens to its XF Line-up

fuji Lens_23mm_Black_FrontFollowing its projected lens roadmap, Fujifilm has just announced the addition of the Fujinon f/1.4 R, 23mmm prime lens to its XF lens line-up. The lens delivers a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 35mm on Fuji’s X-series compact system cameras and is equipped with a camera-to-subject distance indicator and a depth-of-field scale on the lens barrel to assist with manual pre-focus. This X-mount lens features an internal focusing system with a built-in high torque DC coreless motor, a 7-bladed diaphragm, 22 stops in 1/3 EV steps and multilayer coating.

With the addition of the 23mm lens, Fuji’s X-mount lens series now consists of six prime (14mm, 18mm, 23mm, 27mm, 35mm, 60mm), two zooms (18-55mm, 55-200mm) XF lenses and one XC 16-50mm model. A trio of Zeiss lenses is also available for Fuji’s X-mount CSCs.

Looking at Fuji’s July 2013 global lens roadmap, we see a 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens scheduled for later this year and an XF 56mm f/1.2 R slated for January 2014 (subject to change, of course) but Fuji seems to be pretty much on track with expanding its lens selections.

The XF 23mm lens will be available in October. Fuji will be exhibiting at PhotoPlus Expo in New York October 24-26.

 

Price: $900

www.fujifilmusa.com

May 14th, 2013

Nikon Announces New 32mm f/1.2 Nikon 1 Lens

nikon32-1.2Nikon has announced a new addition to the Nikon 1 system, a 32mm f/1.2.  Not only is it the fastest lens in the 1 Nikkor lineup, but it is one of the fastest lenses available for any mirrorless system. The lens is compatible with the entire Nikon 1 system (J1, J2, J3, S1, V1, V2),

For a run down of its features, plus pricing and availability,  see our full story on the Gear news page of PDNOnline.com.

There you’ll also find a link to information on Nikon’s website.

April 18th, 2013

Sigma Announces World’s First F1.8 Constant Aperture Zoom

PPhoto_A_18_35_013_VerticalIn a very exciting bit of news for photographers who live and breathe in the low-light world, Sigma today announced a 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens. A constant f/1.8 zoom lens is one and a third stops faster than the f/2.8 lenses that we normally consider a “fast” zooms. Sigma is claiming that their 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens is the market’s first zoom lens to achieve a maximum aperture F1.8 throughout the entire zoom range.

The 18-35mm is the latest addition to Sigma’s Art line of lenses, one of their new “Global Vision” products. The Global Vision lenses are categorized by use into one of three groups: Art, Contemporary and Sports. The Art category is supposed to deliver “high-level artistic expression through sophisticated and abundant expressive power.” We’re not sure what “abundant expressive power” means. But if it means fast zoom lenses, we’re all in.

Our full story on the Sigma news, including specifications, info on handling and more is on the Gear section of PDNOnline.

December 28th, 2010

Top Photo Blog Posts of the Year

One interesting aspect of publishing “PDN Photo of the Day,” our photography blog, is seeing which photographs and photographic subjects attract the largest number of readers. Often our readers enjoy photographs that we find interesting and beautiful, then share the posts with friends, and the audience for a particular entry grows exponentially. Other times a post we’re particularly excited about receives a more modest response for one reason or another.

As the year drew to a close, we decided to get in touch with the editors of four photography blogs published by major newspapers to see which of their posts were the most-viewed this year. (more…)