Hands On with the Sigma 100-400mm DG DN: A Budget Superzoom For Sony

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Hands On with the Sigma 100-400mm DG DN: A Budget Superzoom For Sony
Jul 022020
 

Wildlife photographers who shoot with Sony have been limited when it comes to lens choice. The Sony 100-400mm GM was released in early 2017, but the price ($2,500) was out of reach for many. Last year, Sony released the 200-600mm G, which was a bit more budget friendly ($2,000) but is a pretty large lens to carry around on wildlife hikes.

Fortunately, Sigma recently announced their new 100-400mm Contemporary lens for Sony E-Mount and Leica/Panasonic/Sigma L-Mount. We had the chance to test out an E-Mount 100-400 for a few days – read on to see what we thought.

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SIGMA 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Lens for L-Mount and E-Mount Introduced

 Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Lens for L-Mount and E-Mount Introduced
Jun 232020
 

SIGMA 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary lens is the company’s new ultra-telephoto zoom lens designed for full-frame mirrorless cameras with L-Mount and Sony E-Mount. The lens features a relatively compact and lightweight design with autofocus and image stabilization. SIGMA also announced new TC-1411 (1.4x) and TC-2011 (2x) Teleconverters for L-Mount.

SIGMA 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary lens. Source: SIGMA

It is obvious that SIGMA is fully committed to supplying the L-Mount cameras – including their own SIGMA fp (click here for our review) – with a wide choice of native lenses. In a recent live stream, the SIGMA Corporation CEO Kazuto Yamaki himself announced a new lens in the company’s lineup. It is the first ultra-telephoto zoom lens designed natively for L-Mount. Additionally, Kazuto Yamaki announced two teleconverters to accompany the new lens. The SIGMA 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary will also be available for Sony E-Mount. What are the features and specs of this new lens?

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Sony 200-600mm Lens Settings for Bird Photography

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony 200-600mm Lens Settings for Bird Photography
Jun 232020
 

In this video I will go through each setting of the Sony FE 200-600mm super-telephoto zoom lens and show you how I use them for bird photography.

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens features a full settings panel on the left side plus three customizable focus hold buttons midway down the barrel. The settings from top to bottom include an AF/MF switch, a focus limiter switch, an Optical SteadyShot on-off switch, and lastly a mode switch to choose how the image stabilization will operate.

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Micro Four Thirds Alliance Expands: Venus Optics, YONGNUO & MEDIAEDGE Joining

 Gear  Comments Off on Micro Four Thirds Alliance Expands: Venus Optics, YONGNUO & MEDIAEDGE Joining
Feb 282020
 

The Micro Four Thirds System standard just added a few new members: YONGNUO, MEDIAEDGE and most notably Venus Optics just joined the standard. The latter company is responsible for the well-known Laowa brand. In the year 2008, Panasonic and Olympus originally jointly announced the Micro Four Thirds System. Since then, it has grown to 44 alliance partners, as listed on their https://www.four-thirds.org website.

Lens Collection from the MFT System Standard Group (Credits: Olympus Corporation / four-thirds.org)

Lens Collection from the MFT System Standard Group (Credits: Olympus Corporation / based on an image by four-thirds.org)

Some words about the companies that just joined the formation:

Venus Optics

Venus Optics (i.e. Anhui ChangGeng Optics Technology Co., Ltd., better known under their brand Laowa) is a company that was formed by photography experts and lovers in China in 2013. Since then they have created a wide range of photography lenses with lots of specialized products. Among the newest photography lenses are the Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT, Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT, Laowa 17mm f/4 Ultra-Wide GFX Zero-D and the Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO. The newest cine lens is the Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine lens, which according to the company, is the widest t/2.9 lens that unrestrictedly covers full-frame and even vista vision size (larger than full-frame) at the same time. Among these specialty lenses, the brand presumably became best-known for their Laowa 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe lens (our review here). For more information, feel free to take a look at https://www.venuslens.net

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Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Announced – Ultra-Wide-Angle AF Lens with Manual Aperture Ring

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Announced – Ultra-Wide-Angle AF Lens with Manual Aperture Ring
Feb 262020
 

Mens is a new ultra-wide-angle fast full-frame E-Mount lens. It features a compact design with clickless/clicked manual aperture ring, customizable button, 67mm front filter thread, and dust- and moisture-resistant body. It will be available in March 2020 for around €1,100.

Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens. Image credit: Jakub Han / cinema5D

Sony has had a line of full-frame cameras for a long time with the Alpha series. Last year, they announced the Sony FX9 full-frame cinema camera. Naturally, they want to provide their customers with a wide range of native Sony E-mount lenses to take full use of the autofocus capabilities of their full-frame cameras.

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Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras
Dec 052019
 

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens is less than half the price of Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Does this lens live up to the hype?

I had a chance to finally use the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD which was notoriously backordered for months and months after its release. Surprisingly, the lens’ performance blew past my expectations, especially when it came to sharpness. A couple things I never really paid attention to before testing were its weight and size, but it really was impressive to hold in my hands and feel that difference. It does not seem like a full frame f/2.8 zoom lens.

What I Liked

  • The Tamron is more affordable than Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens.
  • It’s very sharp and the resolution holds up on the 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV.
  • Slim and light for its class; has a 67mm filter size.
  • The continuous autofocus kept pace with Real-time Eye AF in a studio setting.
  • Some level of weather resistance. Not sure if it’s the lens mount’s rubber gasket making a good seal, but it’s a notably tight fit to get on and off the camera body. I guess if it’s doing its job, that’s a good thing.

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SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens
Sep 162019
 

SIRUI announced their new 50mm f/1.8 1.33x anamorphic lens during this year’s IBC show in Amsterdam. The lens produces image circle covering APS-C sensors and will come in versions with Sony-FE mount, FUJIFILM X-mount, and Micro four thirds mount. Compared to other anamorphic lenses, it will be very affordable.

Anamorphic lenses can produce unique images with special characteristics (lens flares, oval bokeh, etc) and that’s why they are very popular for certain genres. For years, there have only been very expensive anamorphic lenses on the market and the only affordable alternative was to use an anamorphic adapter (like this one from SLR magic). This is changing and there are more and more affordable anamorphic lenses available. My colleague Gunther recently reviewed the VAZEN anamorphic 1.8x 40mm T2 lens fo M4/3 cameras. SIRUI is now introducing their own anamorphic lens.

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Price Cuts on Canon 400mm f/2.8L II and 600mm f/4L II Lenses: No, You Still Can’t Afford Them

 Gear  Comments Off on Price Cuts on Canon 400mm f/2.8L II and 600mm f/4L II Lenses: No, You Still Can’t Afford Them
Mar 132019
 

Out with the old and in with the new. Now that Canon has updated their 400mm and 600mm lenses into the III series, B&H has discounted the previous long-time kings of sporting events and wildlife portraiture.

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM, costing $11,999 and $12,999 respectively, began shipping to customers in December 2018. While the 600mm III seems to still be catching up to demand, I’ve seen the 400mm III has been readily in stock, and this must mean that it’s time to start phasing out the previous generation.

Taking a $2,000 price cut, you can now pick up one of these brand new previous-generation Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses for $7,999 and the EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM for $9,499. Both of these lenses were first introduced in 2011 and each saw a great reduction in weight compared to their first generation models, with the 600mm also gaining a full meter of better close focusing performance. They’ve been beloved workhorses and just because there is something newer out there, doesn’t mean these stop being phenomenal. If you have the coin, the temptation just got a little harder to fight.

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Fujifilm Unveils the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Lens

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Fujifilm Unveils the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Lens
Feb 182019
 

Fujifilm has announced the new XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, a wide-angle prime lens for APS-C sensors that’s the equivalent to a 24mm lens in 35mm terms.

The weather-and-dust-resistant lens features an internal focusing system and a stepping motor that provide fast and quiet autofocusing.

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Lifetime Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

 Gear  Comments Off on Lifetime Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Feb 102019
 

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is the oldest piece of kit in my work camera bag. As I get ready to upgrade all of my gear, I thought a lifetime review was in order.

I purchased this lens a very long time ago, it may be around a decade ago, I am not really sure. What I am sure of though is that it has paid for itself many times over. This is perhaps the best return on investment that a single piece of equipment has ever given me. I vividly remember walking to my local camera shop in Leicester during a lunch break to purchase a copy of this lens, with very little thought, research, or general clue as to what I was doing. I assume I had heard of a pro photographer who liked an 85mm lens and assumed I needed one. Back then I would have probably only had a crop-sensor camera so it was a little on the tight side for my taste, but I seem to remember buying my first full-frame body shortly after to remedy this, also with very little research and forethought.

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Fast and Affordable Mitakon Creator Primes Now Available for E-Mount

 Gear  Comments Off on Fast and Affordable Mitakon Creator Primes Now Available for E-Mount
Oct 162017
 

Lens manufacturer Zhongyi has expanded the Mitakon Creator line-up, with the 35mm f/2 and 85mm f/2 now available for Sony E-mount.

Zhongyi Optics is a lens manufacturer out of China that specialises in affordable fast glass and lens adapters under the Mitakon banner, which includes the Speedmaster series of primes and the Lens Turbo focal reducer – think of it as a Speed Booster without electronic contacts, but which has proven popular with beginner filmmakers due to its low cost and good compatibility with manual cine-style lenses like the Rokinons.

Their Mitakon Creator line of fully-manual primes consists of a 35mm f/2, an 85mm f/2 and a 135mm f/2.8, and had until now been available in Sony A, Canon EF, Pentax K, and Nikon F mounts. Now, the Mitakon Creator series is expanding, offering both the 35mm and the 85mm also in Sony E-mount.

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The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear  Comments Off on The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy
Dec 112016
 

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is a new, third-party dual-lens system for the iPhone 7 Plus. It features a sleek and slim design that makes it unobtrusive and quick to use.

Smartphone filmmaking is certainly a thing these days. Modern smartphones feature decent cameras that can be used in conjunction with a variety of apps, stabilisers and other accessories to produce very high quality content. Just take a look at this short film shot simultaneously on an iPhone 7 and a RED Weapon for the kind of end result you can achieve. By the way, if you want to learn more about iPhone filmmaking, make sure you check out this excellent article by cinema5D’s Richard Lackey.
One of the limitations you may find on your journey as an iPhone cinematographer is your camera’s lens. Camera accessory manufacturer Kamerar has announced a product that promises to help you achieve more interesting images: it’s the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit

The main difference to other third-party lens options out there is how seamlessly it integrates with your iPhone 7 Plus. The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is based around an actual functional protective phone cover with access to all ports, meaning that you don’t have to whip out lens mounts whenever inspiration strikes and you change from phone mode to shooting mode.

 

The back of the case features a slot in which to insert the different dual-lens setups, allowing you to quickly flip up the optics when you want to change your field of view and optical characteristics. This removes the need to screw and unscrew different lenses, and helps you save time when trying to get that unexpected shot.
Kamerar claims their removable dual-lens system for the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is the first in the world, and this does in fact seem to be the case, as other third-party offerings only appear to make use of one of the cameras.

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