April 1st, 2016

Soon You Can Buy the First Telephoto Lens Used on the Moon

RR Auction

RR Auction

If you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars lying around, why not consider investing it in a piece of photo history? RR Auction is auctioning off Dave Scott’s 500mm f/8 Zeiss lens which was on the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon in 1971

According to ARS Technica’s Eric Berger, RR Auction says the lens is one of the largest objects ever on the Moon to be auctioned off.

In a letter released by RR Auctions, Scott noted how the lens was an “integral part” of his 70mm Hasselblad Electric Data Camera.

“The camera with the 500mm lens was hand-held and was operated by pressing a single shutter button with automatic film advance,” Scott writes in a letter accompanying the auction. “However, without a view finder, a range finder, or a light meter, the astronaut had to point the camera, frame the scene, set the distance, and evaluate the lighting so as to manually set the f-stop, exposure time, and distance. Training for the mission required extensive practice in a spacesuit with pressurized gloves.”

Special tabs were fitted to the rotational segments in the center of the lens so it was easier to focus and change the aperture using pressured gloves. It’s nicked up, as you’d expect, and may also contain some lunar dust, RR Auction says.

The lens was used to record 293 high-resolution images from the Moon mission, which entailed three days on the lunar surface and two days in orbit. You can see images snapped with the lens from the moon below.

Scott was able to keep the lens after the mission as a memento. If you want it, however, expect to pay between $400,000 – $600,000. Bidding starts April 14.

Hat tip: ARS Technica

RR Auction

RR Auction

RR Auction

RR Auction

NASA

NASA

3356073_7

NASA

September 16th, 2014

Photokina 2014: Zeiss Offers New Leica M Lens

zeiss_distagon_t_35mm-506x400

Fast on the heels of Leica’s slew of camera unveilings, Zeiss has introduced a new prime lens for Leica M rangefinder cameras at Photokina 2014.

The Distagon T* f1/.4 35 ZM offers a 35mm focal length promising to perfectly match the view from the M’s optical viewfinder. The lens uses Zeiss’ T* coating to reduce flare and features 10 aperture blades.

The aperture can be adjusted in 1/3 increments via a ring on the lens. There’s also a focus ring on the lens’ all-metal barrel.

Zeiss says the lens will be due out before the end of the year for $2,290.

October 7th, 2013

Zeiss Announces New, Fast 55mm Lens

lensZeiss has just announced the first of its new Otus line of pro, 35mm lenses. Other Otus lenses will follow but, for now, the Otus 55mm, f/1.4 lens leads the way. It’s  available in Nikon F and Canon EF mounts, offers a 55mm field of view and an f/stop range of f/1.4-f/16. Zeiss comparers the lens’ performance on a DSLR to that of a medium format system and says that it’s particularly well-suited for advertising and fashion photography.

Named after a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness, Zeiss cites not only the ability of the lens to perform well in low light but also its “outstanding sharpness and contrast rendition,” which extends into the corners of images. Other notable attributes include high image contrast, lack of longitudinal chromatic aberrations, minimal color defects and the absence of color artifacts along high contrast edges in a scene.

Both Nikon and Canon versions of the 55mm lens are manual focus only. The Nikon model is equipped with an aperture ring; the Canon is not. Both lenses are slated to ship globally at the end of October and are priced at $3,999.

 

August 27th, 2013

Sony Announces Three E-mount Lenses and Two Cameras

 

Sony's new E-mount Carl Zeiss 16-70mm power zoom lens.

Sony’s new E-mount Carl Zeiss 16-70mm power zoom lens.

Sony has expanded its E-mount collection with a trio of new lenses: the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 16-70mm (24-105mm-equivalent), constant aperture f/4 zoom; the first G lens with an E-mount, the power-zoom 18-105mm, f/4 constant aperture lens; and an all-black verion of its 50mm, f/1.4 lens.

Two new cameras announced today include the 16 megapixel, NEX-5T mirrorless camera, which is the first Sony camera equipped with NFC (near field communication) and the $400 (with kits lens) 20 megapixel, a3000, a DSLR-styled camera that accepts E-mount lenses.

The 18-105mm G lens will be available inDecember, all other products will ship in September and are available for pre-order. For more information and images, please visit our sister site’s Tech Tuesday blog and the Sony site.

Prices:

  • 16-70mm: $1,000
  • 18-105mm: $600
  • 50mm: $300
  • NEX-5T: $700 (kit)/550 (body only)
  • a3000: $400 with kit lens