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Archive for the ‘Lens’ Topic

2020.08.11

Venus Optics just announced today a lens designed for cinematography which is launching a new series of ultra-high-end lenses for video.  This new OOOM series is constructed without compromise to deliver on image-quality and maximum consistency as aperture, focus and focal-length change.

Venus Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9

The new Laowa OOM 25-100mm T/2.9 offers a 4X optical zoom range that covers a Super-35 imaging-area which is slightly wider than 1.5X APS-C while being less tall due to the 16:9 aspect-ratio. Given that a circle is obviously always circular, this lens is usable on APS-C sensor cameras with the Canon EF and Sony E mount, plus the Arri PL-mount used by professional video cameras. All 3 mounts are interchangeable and included with the lens itself.

With a whopping 20 elements, this huge lens weighs in an astounding 2.5kg. It is a completely mechanical lens with three rings which driven manually or via a gear link for smooth changes required during filming. The front elements support 95mm filters and comes with a step-up ring for 114mm, which we suppose are more common in videography. Venus provided a sample reel filmed with this new and unique lens:

Given its imaging circle, the Laowa 25-100mm T/2.9 is equivalent to a 37-150mm lens which covers a field of view of 60 – 16° which is useful for natural perspective until close-up shots, including the flattering perspectives used for typical portraits. This new lens is available for ordering direct only the Venus Optics site.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.07.24

Venus Optics Leica Mount Lenses

Venus Optics just added L-mount versions of 5 of their most popular lenses:

The Laowa 10-18mm is actually the widest Full-Frame rectilinear zoom lens on the market and greatly expands wide-angle capabilities of the L-mount. Previously the widest angle-of-view came from the Sigma A 14-24mm F/2.8 DG DN which is a premium optic designed from the ground up for mirrorless cameras. Its maximum angle-of-view is 114°, while the Laowa 10-18mm F/4.5-5.6 FE can reach 130° wide.

A pair of Zero-D ultra-wide angle prime lenses, the Laowa 12mm F/2.8 Zero-D and 15mm F/2 Zero-D, are designed to have a rectilinear projections with no optical distortion so that it can perfectly capture architecture both indoors and outdoors. The 12mm is the second widest prime L-mount prime lens but captures 2-stops more light than the Laowa 9mm F/5.6 FF RL.

The 15mm F/4 Macro is a true macro lens and the only ultra-wide one is existence. Its 1X magnification and combined 110° viewing-angle literally captures a unique perspective. This lens is even more unique due to its dual-axis movement that allows shifting the focal-plane by up to 6mm. In fact, this is the only shift lens ever made for L-mount.

Venus Optics has exceptional macro lenses and is currently the only brand to offer comparable magnification to the Canon MP-E 65mm F/28 for EF-mount DSLR. The two macros adapted for L-mount do not quite match that particular Canon lens but surpass macro capabilities offered by all other first-party manufacturers. These are the Laowa 65mm F/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro and the Laowa 100mm F/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro. Both achieve the same 2X magnification while offering slightly different perspectives and working distances.

As with all their lenses, these are completely manual with a wide focus-ring for precise control and a dedicated aperture ring to control the iris. All these new mounts are available directly from Venus Optics.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.07.22

After following the two initial Z-platform mirrorless cameras with an APS-C model, Nikon returned this morning to launch a Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera that slots itself between the Full-Frame Z7 and APS-C Z50 based on their all-electronic wide-diameter Z-mount.

Nikon Z5

The new Nikon Z5 is built around a 24 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor mounted on the same 5-axis image-stabilization system present in the Z6 and flagship Nikon Z7 reviewed here. This is standard Front-Side Illuminated sensor, rather than BSI like in the Z6, which makes the light-sensitive area on each pixel slightly smaller. Still, the new 24 MP sensor has the same standard ISO 100-51200 sensitivity range, although it expands to ISO 50-102400, just one full-stop less than the Z6. Image quality should remain very close and the Z5 does not appear to have an Anti-Alias Filter in front of it.

Nikon built a similar 273-Point Phase-Detect AF system onto the sensor of the Z5 to make it focus quickly. Its accompanying shutter covers a 1/8000-30s shutter-speed range and can operate a 4.5 FPS. This is the most significant performance change compared to the Z6 which lets Nikon offer the Z5 at a much lower price. Nevertheless, this mirrorless can record 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS like its higher-end siblings. Stereo audio can be recorded along with video internally or via a standard mini-jack.

Nikon Z5

This mirrorless boasts a surprising number of high-end features. It offers an integrated 0.5″ EVF with an ultra-sharp 3.7 MP of resolution and a huge 0.8X magnification, the largest among Full-Frame cameras of all types! The viewfinder is paired with an essential Eye-Start Sensor.  This digital camera features dual control-dials, a traditional mode-dial, an 8-way focusing joystick and a direct ISO button. With the control-ring found on some Nikon Z-mount lenses, this camera is certain to be highly efficient to use. Other advanced features include builtin HDR, an Interval-Timer, Time-Lapse video and extensive bracketing options.

Nikon made the Z5 weatherproof and even fitted it with a pair of SDXC memory-card slots, a first for the Z-system. The camera is powered by a proprietary Lithium-Ion battery that can be charged internally via a USB-C port. The slightly lower processing speed allows the Nikon Z5 to offer 20% more  battery-life than the Z6.

Nikon Z 24-50mm F/4-6.3

Along with the new camera, Nikon also introduces an incredibly compact Full-Frame zoom lens. The Nikkor Z 24-50mm F/4-6.3 is available as kit lens with the Z5. This variably aperture zoom weights just 195g while offering a weatherproof construction. Even though it is only 5cm deep, it manages to include a customizable control-ring that can control the internal focusing system or adjust exposure parameters or apply EC.

Nikon expects to ship the Z5 next month for $1400 USD or $2050 CAD. The kit with the new lens will be sold for $1700 USD or $2500 CAD, while the Nikkor Z 24-50mm F/4-6.3 alone is priced at $400 USD or $570 CAD.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.07.16

ZY Optics just launched the first version of their extremely-bright 50mm F/0.95 for Canon EF-mount. This makes it the brightest lens currently available for any DSLR. ZY Optics has been producing extremely bright lenses for many mirrorless mounts where the shorter flange-distance is favorable to implementing this type of lens.

ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm F/0.95 EF Lens

The new Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm F/0.95 represents the fourth-generation F/0.95 lens and is remarkably polished. As with all ZY Optics lenses, this is a completely manual lens with both an aperture-ring and a focus-ring. Its 50mm focal-length on a Full-Frame camera gives a natural perspective with a 45° angle-of-view, while the F/0.95 maximum aperture produces razor-thin depth-of-field that can isolate neatly subjects.

To realize such a lens for SLR mount, ZY Optics employed highly specialized glass that is designed to minimize chromatic aberrations. Using a 11-blade iris, its bokeh can blends most backgrounds into an abstract color pallet. Although magnification is unspecified, this 50mm F/0.95 lens can achieve a minimal focus distance of 65cm. The front of the lens is equipped with a 82mm filter-thread, although we doubt anyone would put a filter ahead of such superb optics.

Necessarily, this is a large and heavy lens. It measures nearly 9cm wide due to the amount of light needed to reach F/0.95. The lens weighs an incredible 1.5kg which makes it the second heaviest standard lens. after the 2kg Nikkor 58mm F/0.95 Noct which is designed for the mirrorless Z-mount.

This unique lens is available directly from ZY Optics for an amazingly-low $800 USD.  They even offer free International Shipping.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.07.09

Canon introduced 4 new RF lenses along with their 2 new mirrorless cameras this morning. This brings the number of Canon-made native RF lenses to 15 less than 2 years after launching the system! This really shows how big and innovative Canon is. In fact, they are the second most innovative company in history after IBM, although it is not just about cameras and lenses.

Canon RF 100-500mm F/4-7.1L IS USM

First up is the already previewed Canon RF 100-500mm F/4.5-7.1L IS USM. This super telephoto zoom has a conventional design with a unusually dim aperture. Although now that the R5 and R6 cameras can focus to -6 EV or lower, that may not matter as much for performance yet remain advantageous for bulk.

This is relatively high-quality lens complete with weatherproof construction. It bared the L mark indicating the Canon upper-range of lenses. For such a long lens, it manages a surprising 0.33X maximum magnification at 500mm where it can focus down to 1.2m. At 100mm though, the minimum focus-distance drops to 90cm which lowers magnification.

This lens is expected in September fo $2700 USD or $3700 CAD.

Canon RF 85mm F/2 Macro IS STM

Next is the unfortunately named Canon RF 85mm F/2 Macro IS STM. This is not a macro lens yet it can focus fairly closely to achieve 0.5X magnification. On a Canon EOS R5 with cropping it can be used for a 12 MP macro. This is one of the few stabilized prime lenses for the system, most likely for compatibility with the original RF and R models.

It is a relatively compact lens yet weighs half a kilo which we hope translates into high optical quality. The lens sports a focus-limiter and customizable control-ring. As a standard-series lens, it is not weatherproof. This lens is scheduled to arrive in October for $600 USD or $850 CAD.

Canon RF 600mm F/11 IS STM

A pair of extreme telephotos follow. Both are fixed-focal-length design with an uncommon fixed F/11 aperture. Their collapsible design make them extremely compact when closed down and they are both relatively light. Even so, these are stabilized autofocus lenses with a very long reach.

Canon RF 800mm F/11 IS STM

Both the Canon RF 600mm F/11 IS STM and Canon RF 800mm F/11 IS STM are expected by the end of this month. Pirce for the 600mm is $700 USD or $950, while the 800mm will go for $900 USD or $1250 CAD.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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