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Venus Optics just announced the first Super-Macro lens designed exclusively for digital cameras with an APS-C sensor. This allows them to design smaller and much lighter lens due to the smaller imaging circle required. A Super-Macro is capable of magnifying larger-than-life compared to the 1:1 magnification ratio of a standard Macro lens.

Venus Laowa 65mm F/2.8 2X Macro

The new Laowa 65mm F/2.8 2X Macro is a short telephoto lens – equivalent to 100mm on a Full-Frame – that can achieve 2:1 magnification at a focal-distance of 17cm. Venus Optics manufactures this lens for Fuji X-mount, Sony E-mount and Canon M-mount, taking further advantage of the short flange-distance of these mirrorless mounts to make a lens which weighs just 335g.

Optics in the Laowa 65mm F/2.8 2X Macro include APO elements that eliminate chromatic aberrations. The internal focus system allows this lens to maintain its length throughout its focus-range. Its bright F/2.8 maximum aperture can be stopped down to F/22 to extend depth-of-field, while rendering smooth bokeh using a 9-blade aperture. The APO elements minimize color-fringing around bokeh.

This new macro is is immediately available and will be sold at authorized retailers shortly with a suggested price of $400 USD. It can also be ordered directly from Venus Optics. Full details on each lens are available at Neocamera:

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Today Fujifilm unveiled one new mirrorless digital camera and four new lenses, two nearly ready for shipping and two in-development. This is exciting news that will hopefully set the pace for 2020.

First up is the Fujifilm X-T200, an mid-range X-mount mirrorless digital camera with new 24 MP CMOS sensor featuring copper-wiring for 4X the read-out speed of its predecessor, the X-T100 review here. The faster processor boosts video frame rate to 30 FPS when recording 4K Ultra-HD and allows continuous shooting at 8 FPS which is 30 % faster than the X-T100.

While keeping a very similar form-factor, Fujifilm refined the design of the X-T200. It kept the fantastic triple control-dials and medium-sized 0.39″ EVF with 2.4 MP and 0.62X magnification. The rear LCD has been stretched out to 3.5″ with a 16:9 aspect-ratio to create more viewing area when recording video.  There are plenty of new video capabilities added, including the option to connect a head-phone via an adapter on the USB-C port of the Fujifilm X-T200.

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 35mm F/2

To match the lightweight body of the X-T200, Fujifilm also launched a normal lens for X-mount. The new Fujifilm Fujinon XC 35mm F/2 is very compact and extremely light. Its offers a 44° angle-of-view with a moderately bright aperture. Its internal stepping motor lets it focus quickly and completely silently.

The new mirrorless camera is scheduled to ship late February for $700 USD or $900 CAD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders. The new XC 35 F/2 ships the same month for $200 USD or $260 CAD. Similarly, it can be pre-ordered from Adorama and B&H Photo.

Fujifilm Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4R LM OIS WR

For the Fujifilm Medium-Format platform, a new mid-range zoom was also announced. The Fujifilm Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4R LM OIS WR is a world-class optics designed to maximize image-quality as required by ultra-resolution digital cameras like the 100 MP Fujifilm GFX-100. This constant-aperture zoom provides an equivalent 36-80mm range which complements the GF 32-64mm and GF 100-200mm F/5.6 already available for G-mount.

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm F/4R LM OIS WR is built with state-of-the-art technologies. This includes a 5-stop image-stabilization system and internal focusing plus internal zoom to keep the lens completely sealed and freezeproof. Given its huge imaging circle, this zoom weighs over 1kg. Its large front element requires 82mm filters.

This lens will be  available next month for $2300 USD or $3000 CAD.  Again Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

Showing further commitment to their Medium-Format Mirrorless system, Fujifilm also added two new lenses to their roadmap and released some high-level details. The next one coming is the GF 30mm F/3.5R WR which will be a slim and relatively compact wide-angle lens. The second is the GF 80mm F/1.7R WR designed to be the brightest G-mount lens with a normal focal-length equivalent to 64mm on Full-Frame which is highly suitable for portrait photography.

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Ricoh just announced the Pentax HD D FA 70-210mm F/4 SDM WR lens for their DSLRs. This F/4 constant aperture telephoto lens provides a lightweight alternative for their 70-200mm F/2.8 lens. The F/4 version weighs less than half the F/2.8 one while maintaining compatibility with a Full-Frame imaging circle. Ricoh made sure that the D FA 70-210mm F/4 is fully weatherproof and freezeproof to -10C to match their unique Pentax DSLRs which are the most rugged on the market.

A redesigned Super-Sonic ring-type motor ensure quick and precise autofocus with improved durability. To speed AF, Ricoh equipped this telephoto zoom with a 2-step focus-limiter. A switch on the lens toggles between DMF and MF modes. Given that his lens is rather light, it does not need a tripod collar like the DA 60-250mm F/4. The HD in the name signifies that this lens uses the newest coatings to reduce flare from Ricoh.

Ricoh expects to ship the Pentax HD D FA 70-210mm F/4 SDM WR next month for $1100 USD. This is a long-awaited lens as the Pentax Full-Frame lens lineup is relatively small with no comparable option other than the much heavier F/2.8 telephoto zoom. Both Adorama and B&H Photo are accepting pre-orders already.

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium


Veteran camera bag maker Think Tank Photo unveiled earlier today a backpack adaptation of their classic-styled Retrospective series. The first model  is the Retrospective Backpack 15L. This soft-canvas camera bag adapts to contours while keeping 15L of gear safe in the main compartment with an additional 5L in secondary pockets. The outside of the Retrospective series is designed to look very typical for a generic bag rather than attract attention as a camera bag would.

The new Think Tank Photo Retrospective Backpack 15L offers dual-access with a quick top-flap to reach frequently-used gear and a large opening real panel that gives comfortable access to the main compartment while placing it out-of-reach from thieves.  There are additional pockets on three sides and attachment points for a tripod on the side and front panel. Each side has a collapsible water bottle pocket.

This canvas bag looks unassuming yet is fully treated to make its fabric waterproof. An included seam-sealed rain-cover protects it from harsh weather if needed. In addition to the shoulder-straps, the backpack can be stabilized with a removable waist-belt and adjustable chest-strap.  The outer fabric is padded and the inside has highly configurable foam dividers.

The large size of this bag makes it suitable to transport an entire set of professional gear, including a full-frame mirrorless body with 3 bright zoom lenses and room to spare of additional lenses or flash units. An interior slot accommodates up to a 15″ laptop.

Here are the specifications of the Retrospective Backpack 15L:

  • Exterior: 11.8” W x 15.9” H x 7.1” D (30 x 40.5 x 18 cm)
  • Interior: 11.4” W x 13.8” H x 5.5” D (29 x 35 x 14 cm)
  • Laptop Slot: 9.8” W x 14.1” H x 1.0” D (25 x 36 x 2.5 cm)
  • Weight: 4 lbs (1.8kg)

This new back is immediately available in two colors directly from the Think Tank Photo website for $250 USD.

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium


Tokina ATX-M F/1.8 FE

Tokina unveiled their first lens of a new series. The new Tokina ATX-M 85mm F/1.8 FE is a bright prime short telephoto lens designed for Sony E-mount digital cameras. This lens provides Full-Frame coverage yet is also compatible with APS-C models with the usual 1.5X crop-factor which makes it equivalent to a 130mm lens. The ATX-M series is intended for lenses explicitly designed for mirrorless cameras with full communication and support for unhindered autofocus. In fact, the lens is completely controlled electronically with no switch on the lens to use MF.

This prime lens is designed with specifications licensed from Sony instead of reverse-engineering which ensure greater compatibility than many third-party lenses. The focal-length is transmitted to the camera body so that image-stabilization in the camera can work without user input. The lens itself is not stabilized as that is completely unnecessary on nearly every Sony mirrorless.

The ATX-M 85mm F/1.8 FE focuses down to 80cm from the sensor which gives a small 0.12X magnification ratio. It uses a stepping motor which is relatively quiet for use during video capture. Noise in movements are further minimized by an internal focusing system. Although the new Tokina ATX-M 85mm F/1.8 FE has a premium finish, its specification show a mid-class lens which omits weather-sealing and any controls other than the focus-ring. This allows Tokina to sell this model for just $500 USD which is 20% lower than the actual Sony-made version.

Both Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders with expectation sot ship within a month. As always, these reputable places will not charge your credit-card until the item ships.

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium





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