Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSMArt lens – an astrophotographer’s dream lens

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More than once, we’ve called the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens an astrophotographer’s dream lens. From the moment it was announced, we were dying to get our hands on it; and once we did, it did not disappoint.

But what’s the big deal? Why pay US$1,600 for this lens when the very capable Samyang/Rokinon 14mm F2.4 will cost you half as much and resolve nearly as much detail (if not more)?

Light… that’s why. A point explained beautifully by photographer Alyn Wallace, who recently took the 14mm F1.8 Art out for a spin in the night. After managing to take a hand-held photograph of the Milky Way—an insane and somewhat-pointless but also kind-of-fun experiment to see what F1.8 can really do—he pops the lens onto a tripod for some proper astrophotography and is immediately blown away.

“This lens is a light vacuum,” he says. “It’s like I’ve stuck a black hole on the front of my camera.”

 

Voigtlander 65mm F2 E-Mount Macro Lens – The Finest Ever?!

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Voigtlander has a legendary 125mm Macro lens, which was selling at over RM3500 after it discontinued in production.

It is an exciting news that Voigtlander is going to produce another macro lens. Although 65mm seems a bit short, but it has F/2 aperture and is actually a nice portrait lens as well!

Is this the finest lens from Voigtlander? We hope so, and from the photo, it does looks like a full metal body construction. It is sad that the lens is only available in Sony E Mount. Let’s hope that Voigtlander will introduce at least Canon and Nikon mount of the lens in the near future.

MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical

Announcing the release of the Voigtländer MACRO APO- LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical, a Sony E-mount macro lens for full frame sensors incorporating an apochromatic optical design and inscribed with the designation “APO-LANTHAR”

We announce the release of the Voigtländer MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical, a Sony E-mount macro lens for full frame sensors. The APO-LANTHAR designation is given to especially high performance lenses in the Voigtländer lens lineup. The legendary APO-LANTHAR lens that continues to enthrall photographers with its outstanding imaging performace and beautiful rendering was born in 1954, but its origins can be traced back around 120 years (see additional info about the APO-LANTHAR below).

A need for apochromatic optical designs that reduce the longitudinal chromatic aberrations of the three primary colors (RGB) of light to practically zero arose with the increasing popularity of color film. Now, with the current range of high- resolution digitals sensors, this need for extremely high-level control of chromatic aberrations is even more pertinent than when film changed from monochrome to color. So rather than just being for already solved old technologies, apochromatic optical designs are indeed a subject requiring serious consideration in the digital age.

The Voigtländer MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical, which inherits the designation “APO- LANTHAR”, is a high performance manual focus macro lens optimized for the imaging sensors of Sony mirrorless cameras. The optical performance of this lens, which provides an image circle capable of covering a full frame sensor, rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer. Sharp imaging performance is obtained from maximum aperture where you can enjoy blurring the background, and by utilizing a floating mechanism this lens delivers outstanding image quality for subjects from the minimum focusing distance of 31cm (reproduction ratio of 1:2) through to infinity. This lens is a manual focus and manual aperture design, but also features electrical contacts that enable the lens settings at image capture to be included in the Exif information of the image data. Furthermore, the lens is installed with a distance encoder to enable support for 5-axis image stabilization on bodies with this feature, for example by providing distance to subject information used in X,Y shift compensation. Focus peaking while manual focusing is also supported.

Main features

  • Full frame Sony E-mount with electrical contacts
  • Apochromatic optical design that eliminates chromatic aberrations
  • Enhanced high performance utilizing aspherical lens surfaces
  • Optical design optimized for digital imaging sensors
  • Extremely solid and durable all-metal barrel
  • Manual focus for precise focusing
  • Maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 at a minimum focus distance of 31 cm

Additional info about the APO-LANTHAR

The history of the APO-LANTHAR begins with the HELIAR invented by Hans Harting in 1900. Despite its simple optical configuration of five elements in three groups, the HELIAR was a lens with superb depictive performance. As an example of the HELIAR optical formula still being valid in the present day, it is used in the currently available HELIAR Vintage Line 50mm F3.5, a lens known for its superb depictive performance. Furthermore, a HELIAR is recorded as being the lens used to take imperial portraits of Emperor Showa, and it is said the HELIAR lens was extremely highly regarded for its beautiful depictive performance and even treated as a family treasure by portrait photography businesses during the Showa period.

Moving forward about half a century from the birth of the HELIAR to 1954, Albrecht Wilhelm Tronnier developed a lens using the same five-elements-three-groups configuration as the HELIAR utilizing new glass types to achieve performance that exceeded the HELIAR. That lens was the APO-LANTHAR. The APO in APO- LANTHAR indicates an apochromatic optical design. The main characteristic of such a lens is that longitudinal chromatic aberrations caused by the different wavelengths (frequencies) of the three primary colors (RGB) of light are reduced to practically zero to achieve high-level color reproduction. Color film slowly gained popularity after its release in 1935, and one reason why the APO-LANTHAR was developed was to address a growing need to capture light more faithfully than possible with monochrome film.

The first camera to be fitted with an APO-LANTHAR lens was the 6 x 9 roll film rangefinder camera representative of post-war Voigtlander, the Bessa II. There were three different lens variations of this camera: APO-LANTHAR 4.5/100, COLOR-HELIAR 3.5/105, and COLOR-SKOPAR 3.5/105. The APO-LANTHAR 4.5/100 variation has red, green, and blue (RGB) rings indicating the apochromatic optical design engraved around the front of the lens barrel to differentiate it from the other versions as a special lens. Due to the rarity and high performance of the Bessa II fitted with APO-LANTHAR lens, this camera has become a legendary camera traded on the used market at high prices and the envy of camera collectors.

As homage to the RGB colors that differentiate the APO-LANTHAR from other lenses beginning with the BESSA II, the MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical also features three colored dashes indicating the RGB colors at the front edge of the lens barrel.

Nikon Malaysia Announced Fisheye 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Lens Pricing

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Originally announced on 31st May 2017, Nikon Malaysia has finally gotten the lens available and announced the pricing of the lens in Malaysia.

Recommended Selling Price incl. 6% GST = RM6,488.00

Street price in Malaysia is much lower as usual, and you can check out the actual pricing at ShaShinKi.com website:

Features

  • Widest NIKKOR fisheye lens yet and the first with zoom capability
  • Capture epic 180° circular images and traditional frame-filling fisheye images
  • Close focusing up to 0.5 feet from your subject for macro-style fisheye images
  • Weather-sealed design and Nikon’s protective Fluorine Coat for use in harsh conditions
  • Equally suited for still photography and video work

Original Press Release in May 2017

NIKON ANNOUNCES THREE NEW WIDE-ANGLE NIKKOR LENSES

  • AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR – Compact Ultra-Wide-Angle Perspective DX-format Zoom Lens
  • AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED -Circular Fisheye Zoom for the Ultimate in Versatility and a Unique Perspective
  • AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED – Outstanding Definition and High Resolution Wide-Angle Prime Lens

MELVILLE, NY (May 31, 2017 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) — Today, Nikon announced three exciting new wide-angle NIKKOR lenses to give a diverse array of users brilliant image quality and maximum versatility whether shooting vast landscapes, architecture, interiors, events and many other wide-angle applications. The new ultra-wide zoom and lightweight DX-format AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is an excellent value for budding shutterbugs and novice shooters looking to explore a wide-angle point of view, while the new AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED is an FX-format circular fisheye zoom lens for photographers and content creators who desire a truly unique perspective. Lastly, the new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED is a superior prime lens that provides professional and advanced photographers the ultimate in wide-angle image quality. Both the AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED and AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED are the latest additions to the Gold Ring Series of NIKKOR lenses, a mark identifying Nikon’s premium lens offerings.

“Nikon continues to push the limits of optical excellence, while making new perspectives more attainable than ever before with our latest wide-angle NIKKOR offerings,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Whether a photographer is a novice learning the art of landscapes, an enthusiastic video creator or a working professional shooter, Nikon now makes the wide-angle perspective achievable for everyone.”

The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR – Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens That’s Compact and Portable

The new NIKKOR 10-20mm is an ultra-wide-angle DX-format zoom lens that opens new perspectives and possibilities for those new to photography, and is ideal for shooting travel and scenery, real estate, large group portraits or vlogging. This new lens combines superior image quality and an attainable price to give consumers wide-angle versatility with a lens that’s remarkably compact and lightweight.

Like all NIKKOR lenses, the new AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR provides advanced optical technologies for stellar image quality in any light, whether shooting a sun-drenched coastal vista, tight spaces or the night sky. The lens features the equivalent of 3.5 stops1 of Vibration Reduction (VR) performance, to help capture sharp images while handheld or in challenging light. Additionally, it utilizes Nikon’s Pulse Motor technology for super-fast and whisper quiet AF operation- which is especially useful when recording video. The optical formula contains three aspherical elements for excellent image quality with minimal distortion even at the widest focal length.

This is a versatile lens that not only excels at shooting expansive horizons, but also offers a remarkably close working distance that’s useful for images or showing up-close details when making product-related videos or how-to content. To get closer to capture small objects with big details, the lens has a close minimum focusing distance of only 8.6 inches (0.22 meters), bringing small objects to life in glorious size.

AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED – Circular Fisheye for Photographers and Content Creators

Nikon’s first fisheye zoom gives photographers and filmmakers an FX-format lens with the look and feel of a circular fisheye and the versatility of a full-frame fisheye, all in one lens. The new lens design provides a creative circular 180-degree vertical / horizontal angle of view on full frame cameras, and zooms to a non-circular fisheye view (180-degree diagonal angle of view) on the long end of the focal range. The lens can also be used on DX-format cameras for a distinctive point-of-view and extreme wide-angle applications. When looking to push creative boundaries, the intriguing perspective from a fisheye lens should be considered to provide a distinct look to your photos and videos, such as a dramatic emphasis on a subject or an extremely wide interior point of view.

The AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED is also the latest in Nikon’s Gold Ring Series of premier lenses and features a next-generation design for high-resolution Nikon DSLR cameras. Made for advanced photographers and creators, this durable lens is constructed of lightweight magnesium alloy, and employs internal focusing (IF) to retain its compact size, even while focusing. It is also Nikon’s latest lens to use an electromagnetic diaphragm for consistent exposure during high speed shooting, or smooth exposure control while capturing video.

The optical formula of the Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm consists of three ED elements to reduce chromatic aberration, while two aspherical lens elements minimize coma even at the widest aperture, and enable a more compact lens size. Additionally, the front lens element is coated with Nikon’s non-stick Fluorine coat to help resist dirt, fingerprints and smudges, while Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat helps reduce ghost and flare.

AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED – The Latest in The Gold Ring Series of f/1.4 Primes in the NIKKOR Line

The new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED is Gold Ring glass that provides maximum versatility for outstanding definition and sharpness regardless of shooting scenario. With a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture and nine blade rounded diaphragm, it affords a shallow depth of field with gorgeous bokeh and stellar low light performance, making it a great choice for shooting low light landscapes, interiors and events.

The superbly balanced and solid body is composed of lightweight magnesium alloy, and features dust and water drop resistant sealing to withstand the elements, combined with a fluorine coating to resist dirt and smudges. The optical construction of the lens is engineered for the best possible wide-angle image quality. It consists of 14 elements in 11 groups, with three aspherical elements that virtually eliminate coma, aberration and distortion, with two ED glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration. The lens also uses Nikon’s Nano Crystal coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flare.

The new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED is a welcome addition to Nikon’s stable of impressive f/1.4 primes that give professional photographers and creators the highest levels of image quality and performance, which also include; The AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G, AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G and AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED.

Price and Availability

The Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED will be available immediately for a suggested retail price (SRP)* of $1249.95. The AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR and AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED will be available in late June for a suggested retail price (SRP)*, $309.95 and $1999.95, respectively. For more information on these NIKKOR lenses as well as the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

1: Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when DX-format compatible lenses are attached to a DX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm F3.5-4.5E ED specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 8–15 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Nikon F (FX)
Aperture
Maximum aperture F3.5–29
Minimum aperture F4.5–29
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Optics
Elements 15
Groups 13
Special elements / coatings Three ED + two aspherical elements, Nano Crystal and fluorine coatings
Focus
Minimum focus 0.16 m (6.3)
Maximum magnification 0.34×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 485 g (1.07 lb)
Diameter 78 mm (3.07)
Length 83 mm (3.27)
Materials Magnesium alloy
Sealing No
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock No
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar No