Kenko Tokina has launched the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm F2 Pro DX lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs with APS-C sensors. That’s equivalent to 21-30mm on Nikon bodies and 22-32mm on Canons.
This ultra-wide zoom has a pair of super low dispersion elements in the back and a plastic aperhical element in the second group that promise to reduce flare and ghosting. It also sports nine aperture blades, a one-touch focus clutch mechanism and internal focusing.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce the new AT-X 14-20 F2 PRO DX
The fast F2.0 Zoom lens of Tokina
Since the maximum aperture of F2.0 is given this lens, it’s possible to support the low sensitivity photography used ISO64 and ISO100 setting. The maximum aperture of F2.0 shows its power for the photography using the blur feeling and photography with the low brightness (In the room, In the night).
Adopt highly precise Plastic Aspherical lens
The 2nd lens group in this lens is adopted the plastic aspherical lens which improved surface accuracy, and is given antireflection coat. This lens is designed tough against ghost flare.
Arrange highly precise Glass molded Aspherical lens
2 pieces of super low dispersion glass molded aspherical lens is located in the back goup of the lens, and various aberration are corrected by these lenses.
Compact Body and Excellent Operability
Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF/MF simply by sliding the focus ring, forward side for AF and back toward the camera for MF. This lens is designed as the fast aperture F2.0 in all focal range, but it is a compact body. This lens has a thread in the front frame, so it’s possible to attach filters of 82mm size.
The new Tokina AT-X 14-20 F2 PRO DX is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for the DX(APS-C) size, and has the maximum aperture of F2.0.
In low brightness situation, use it demonstrates its preeminent power.
- Focus distance: 14 – 20 mm
- Brightness: F2.0 Canon
- Format : APS-C
- Minimum aperture: F22
- Lens configuration: 13 elements in 11 group
- Coating: Multilayer film coating
- Angle of view: 91.68° ~ 71.78°
- Filter size: 82mm
- Shortest Object Distance: 0.28m
- Macro maximum magnification: 1:8.36
- Focus method: Internal focus
- Number of Aperture blades: 9
- Maximum diameter: 89.0 mm
- Full length: 106.0 mm
- Weight: 725 g
- Hood (Attached) : BH-823
Above mentioned specifications are for a Nikon mount.
Tokina AT-X 14-20mm F2 Pro DX specifications
|Lens type||Zoom lens|
|Max Format size||APS-C / DX|
|Focal length||14–20 mm|
|Lens mount||Canon EF, Nikon F (DX)|
|Number of diaphragm blades||9|
|Special elements / coatings||2 super low dispersion + multilayer film coating|
|Minimum focus||0.28 m (11.02″)|
|Full time manual||Yes|
|Weight||725 g (1.60 lb)|
|Diameter||89 mm (3.5″)|
|Length||106 mm (4.17″)|
|Zoom method||Rotary (internal)|
|Filter thread||82.0 mm|
|Hood product code||BH-823|
Professional photojournalist Josh Trujillo has been published in almost every major US newspaper and magazine, including the front page of the New York Times and full-page features in People Magazine and Sports Illustrated. Join him for an insightful …
You probably know photographer David Hobby for his website, The Strobist, a great resource for learning about a whole heap of different flash photography techniques. For the past couple years, however, he has been working on a different kind of project, which has resulted in the launch of the Photographer’s Oil Collective.
The service allows you to upload a photo and have it turned into an actual oil painting done by a hand-selected artist Xiamen, China. Xiamen is a hub for some of the world’s best commercial oil painters and Hobby actually traveled to China in order to find the best artists for the gig. They also had a long learning process to make the flow between photograph and oil painting as smooth as possible.
The paintings start at $750 for a 16×20” piece and go up to $1,200 for a 36×48” piece. Sure, it’s quite a bit more than the commercially printed canvas you can get from Groupon, but it’s also a much different thing. If you’re familiar with the price of a well-done, custom oil painting, it’s actually quite reasonable and could certainly become an option for high-end photographers who want to offer their clients something unique.
Peter Hurley wasn’t always a noted portrait photographer with a great head of hair – before he ever picked up a camera he was a bartender, actor and model. With encouragement from Bruce Weber he purchased a camera and lens and the rest is history. Eve…
My photographic style has always favored precision and sharpness with rich tones and vibrant colors. I also have a bit of a control issue – my inner engineer likes predictable behaviors and consistent results. But sometimes I get into a photographic rut and I need something to give me a creative jump-start. Where do I turn? To Lensbaby of course, because how better to feed my need for precision, sharpness, control and predictable results than by using creative lenses that have very few of those qualities?
|Predictable behavior. ISO 400, F4, 1/125sec.|
My pick for Gear of the Year is the Velvet 56 F1.6 lens from Lensbaby. It’s a portrait lens that is incredibly versatile, going from a soft ethereal glow at F1.6 to satisfyingly sharp details when stopped down.
What I love:
- 56mm focal length, perfect for portraits
- Sharp focus when stopped down, if I need a break from the velvet glow
- 1:2 magnification means I can get up close and personal with my subjects or shoot near-macro details
- Soft focus effect forces me outside of my comfort zone and makes me think more creatively when setting up my shots
- Sleek body looks cool, especially the silver version
When I first picked up the Velvet 56, I had a hard time figuring out how to make it work for me. My creative style does not naturally include soft edges or ethereal glow, so getting a feel for the lens and how it works took several days of shooting. (In contrast, colleagues who tend to shoot in a dreamier, more vintage style have tried the lens and fallen in love with it immediately.)
|Still shooting stopped down to F4, having trouble embracing the glow. ISO 200, F4, 1/200sec|
With the Velvet 56, once you open up above F2.8 it’s impossible to get a sharp edge. Having a direct relationship between the wide apertures I typically use to capture light and the soft focus that is a signature of this lens was very frustrating to me. However, once I gave up on the idea of being able to control both light and focus in the ways I expected, I found creative freedom in allowing myself to shoot for the “feeling” of a moment rather than the precision of it.
|Sleeping children helped me step into the world of intentionally soft focus (by taking “dreamy” a bit literally…each of us takes the path that works for us). ISO 800, F2, 1/125sec.|
I am still a huge fan of sharp focus and the comfortably predictable results I get from more conventional lenses, but I find that I reach for the Velvet 56 more and more for personal projects and family lifestyle or legacy sessions. The phrase “emotionally in focus” is often used to justify keeping a blurry shot that you like, but I find that it is an accurate description of how I use the Velvet 56. Sometimes, emotionally in focus is the best way to capture the moment.
|This ’emotionally in focus’ moment brought to you by an irritated 5 year old. ISO 400, F2, 1/250sec.|
And sometimes you just have to appease the engineer inside and stop down to F5.6 or F8 to try for that tack-sharp focus. Luckily, the Velvet 56 can do that too (manual focusing ability of the photographer notwithstanding).
|Nesting dolls on the mantel, no emotion required. ISO 800, F5.6, 1/200sec.|
Landscape, travel, and humanitarian photographer Colby Brown has traveled the world to create iconic images. In this interview from PIX 2015, Brown talks about becoming a professional photographer, the state of the photo industry, and also tells us ab…
Of those Americans who benefit from the slowly opening gates to the 42,000-square-mile Caribbean nation of Cuba, photographers can be counted among the grateful. The country’s urban and rural areas seem to have been fixed, as if in amber, since the 1950s. (It’s tantalizing to imagine that some of the same backgrounds available to Walker Evans in the 1930s may still be there today.)
We spoke with four photojournalists who have explored the visual treasures of Cuba collectively for decades. The consensus? Though some Cuban views have become visual clichés—i.e., 60-year-old DeSotos and Spanish colonial architecture—there are many other worthy subjects that should compel American photographers to pack their camera bags and head south.
“Speaking as a photographer, my daily encounters with the Cuban people are pure joy,” says Sven Creutzmann, a freelance photojournalist from Germany who is now based in Cuba. “I don’t know any other country in the world where photographing people is as much fun. The people are so natural and open.” He was immediately drawn to their way of dealing with the hardships of daily life in a nation where basic comforts and amenities of the modern world are often unavailable.
According to Lisette Poole, a freelance photographer based in New York City, whose clients include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek, “Of course, there’s the color, music, and an intense Caribbean vibe down there, but I’m especially struck by how remarkably prideful, joyous, and present Cubans can be. I had expected to find them depressed and downtrodden, but most often the opposite is true. They carry themselves with an attractive dignity and always make the most of whatever tools they have for enjoying life.”
As an example of Cuban openness, Poole mentions frequently encountering people on the street in animated conversation, displaying humor, warmth, and friendly charm, even though the individuals involved were perfect strangers. The opportunities for colorful street shooting are endless. “As a rule, Cubans are comfortable with each other in ways most Americans aren’t,” says Poole.
Eduard Bayer, a Spanish photojournalist based in New York City, also sings the praises of Cuban street life. “It exhibits a vitality and exuberance that’s unique to the island. There’s always a lot going on, so much so that it can be hard to focus on one subject,” he tells us.
While Old Havana and the city’s Centro district are crowded with European and Canadian tourists, especially in winter, the vast majority of Cuba is—certainly by Caribbean standards—tourist-free. The spirit of the people, the light, and color are almost always on view; street photographers generally don’t need to worry about keeping tourists out of their backgrounds.
The best news? Cubans typically don’t mind having their picture taken, if you approach them civilly and ask their permission. “Most Cubans are pretty outspoken, and if they don’t want to be photographed, they’ll let you know it as soon as they see your camera,” says Poole. To chip away at any reluctance, she suggests introducing yourself as an American. “We’re still pretty rare down there and it piques their interest to actually meet one of us. Generally Cubans feel culturally connected to the U.S., and almost everyone you meet has a close relative somewhere in America.”
But, warns Creutzmann, if you see people dressed entirely in white, try to avoid taking their pictures. “They most likely will be initiating their life in the Santeria religion which, in the first year, prohibits them of having their photo taken, shaking hands, or getting wet in the rain.”
After some 60 years of blockades, embargoes, and severe travel restrictions, “since January of this year flying into Cuba as a U.S. citizen has become relatively easy,” says Creutzmann. Rules are easing on an almost monthly basis, and the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, and Commerce are diligently updating their websites to reflect the new freedoms and remaining restrictions. By the time you read this, even more relaxed regulations will likely be in place.
“There are plenty of flights to Cuba every day, especially between Havana and Miami,” says Creutzmann. “You still need to travel under one of 12 licenses, but you don’t have to apply for a permit from the U.S. Treasury Department anymore. When booking flights, you simply check the appropriate category.”
Licenses typically used by photographers include Workshops, Journalism, People-to-People (i.e., cultural), and Family. (Find the complete list on the State Department’s website, state.gov.) Americans are still unable to enter Cuba as simple tourists, but travel agents specializing in the island can help get you there; dozens of agents exist online.
Photo workshops to the island are exploding in number, and they’re also easily found with a quick web search. For first-time, nonprofessional photographers visiting the island, these workshops are highly recommended. One reason: While the détente between Cuba and America moves forward, there are still many places that require government-issued permits to visit and/or shoot. “Even accredited photographers have to apply with the [Cuban] authorities to work in many locations, and the process can be time- and nerve-consuming,” says Creutzmann. Workshop organizers either take care of this paperwork or aim you toward unrestricted venues and subjects. (If you have family in Cuba, workshops may not be necessary to get your footing there.)
One of the pleasures of shooting in Cuba? Its streets are “super safe,” as one of our photographers said. For one thing, there are virtually no handguns among the general populace. “It’s probably the safest country in the Western Hemisphere,” says Creutzmann. “Compared to Rio, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, or São Paulo, it’s a walk in the park.” Another reason to feel at home on these streets: Twenty years ago, it was difficult getting around Cuba without speaking Spanish, but today, especially in and around Havana, more and more Cubans have basic English down thanks to the growing importance of tourism.
After decades of isolation from its northern neighbor, this relatively poor country with few natural resources or man-made exportables presents photographers with unavoidable logistical issues. Photographic equipment, accessories, and memory cards, for example, are difficult to find, even in Havana’s tourist zones. If you’re lucky enough to find a 16MB compact flash card, it will be expensive. While it’s relatively easy to charge batteries in Cuba, finding chargers or batteries (other than AA and AAA alkalines) can be difficult. “Bring in everything” was a mantra among these photographers.
Communicating with the outer world is also a challenge. The web is still something of an unknown in Cuba. There are state-run Internet cafes (ETECSA shops), but expect long lines and high costs. “Travelers have best Internet access in the larger hotels at costs up to $8 U.S. per-hour,” says Creutzmann. “And recently the Cuban government installed 35 Wi-Fi hot spots all over the country in public areas which you can access by buying Wi-Fi credits from ETECSA shops. A plus: You won’t incur roaming charges using American-based cell phones.
First-time visitors are often flummoxed by Cuba’s dual currencies. In 2004, Cuba banned the American dollar, replacing it with the convertible Cuban peso, known by its acronym CUC. Worth slightly more than the U.S. dollar, it’s used by foreign tourists and businesses to purchase (largely) foreign-made goods at prices significantly higher than international norms. The Cuban national peso, or CUP, which is worth slightly less than the U.S. dollar, is used by native Cubans to purchase subsidized food and household goods, at prices far below international norms.
For money, change your cash to CUCs and bring lots. Cuba isn’t an inexpensive country for foreigners, and American credit cards aren’t accepted (yet). Eduard Bayer suggests that as you travel the island, bargain with taxi drivers—public transportation is unreliable—before getting in a cab, because they’re notorious for overcharging.
Warning: There’s also currently no GPS signal beamed to Cuba, so Siri can’t help you get around. “There are, however, tour and guide services everywhere in Cuba, because such a huge chunk of their economy revolves around tourism,” says Michael Christopher Brown, a Magnum photographer also based in New York City.
Don’t let these hassles discourage you from a Cuban excursion. “It can be hard to get good food at times and the heat can be unbearable,” says Lisette Poole, “but the rewards for me are endless.” Cuba is a nation that’s lived cut off from most of the Western world for decades, and the chance to capture that unique situation in photos will not last for long. Get there before there’s a Starbucks and McDonald’s on every block, and you will have experience—and capture—something really remarkable.
Where to Go:
Baracoa Near the island’s eastern tip, this city is the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba. Sven Creutzmann says it offers “overwhelming landscapes and beautiful portrait backdrops.”
Centro Havana Great for street shots, Eduard Bayer says, “It’s the most populated neighborhood in all of Cuba.”
Foxa Building “Try to get to the top of the Foxa in Havana’s Vedado,” says Bayer. “Its views are stunning.”
Holguín A charming city and province on the eastern end of the island, Holguín offers classic Cuban architecture and street scenes along with great sunrises.
Fábrica de Arte Cubano “This huge cultural and music venue shows off Havana’s night life at its best,” says Bayer.
Malecon “Havana’s embarcadero will reward a sunset visit and is where colorful locals hang out,” according to Eduard Bayer.
Parque Lenin On Havana’s outskirts, this park is where the city’s youth meet on weekends.
Pinar Del Rio On Cuba’s western tip, it’s the 10th largest city on the island and home to typical examples of Spanish colonial architecture along with rural landscapes.
Salón Rosado de la Tropical This is Cuba’s largest open-air concert venue, where old and young go to dance on Sunday afternoons.
Over the summer I took part in a great American tradition called ‘tubing’ with some friends. Don’t be fooled by the semi-rugged sounding name of this activity. It’s basically an opportunity to sit outside surrounded by nature and friends, consuming alcoholic beverages (in a responsible manner) while floating lazily down a river. In short, it’s everything summer should be.
In our pre-float preparations my companions were busy stuffing their smartphones into complicated plastic pouches to be hung around their necks, or into ziplock bags, which seemed risky. I left my phone on dry land and headed into the water with the Olympus Tough TG-4, no waterproof pouch required.
|A great American tradition. ISO 100, f/8.0 1/400sec @ 25mm equiv. processed to taste in ACR.|
What I love:
- Waterproof, crushproof, dustproof and freezeproof
- Raw shooting for better image fine-tuning
- Compact enough to carry in my bag without noticing
- Decent wide to moderate zoom
There’s something incredibly liberating, even rebellious-feeling, about dunking a piece of technology underwater. The TG-4 was a great little sidekick on the water. Its operation is simple enough that I could pass it around among my friends, some of whom wanted to take underwater selfies. To each her own. Shooting Raw, I knew I would have some decent flexibility with my images later. It was pure fun, and I got some nice mementos from the trip out of it.
|Tough cams can go places that would be too risky for mere smartphones. ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/500sec @ 25mm equiv.|
Later in the year, the TG-4 accompanied me on another trip. Florida is a strange place. Like the Pacific Northwest, it seems to rain pretty much every day, but unlike my home of over two years the rain is heavy, sudden, and often happens at the same time as sunshine. It generally stops raining after twenty minutes, at which point the sun comes out and transforms the place back into the wild swamp it once was.
Florida is also, of course, the theme park capital of the world, and that’s what took me there in late November. The point of the trip was to spend time with my boyfriend and his family drinking butter beer (responsibly) at Universal’s ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter.’ Naturally, I’d want photos, but I didn’t want to have to worry about a camera getting wet or smashed in a storage locker.
|This dragon breathes fire every so often, but apparently had the day off when this photo was taken. ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/2000sec @ 25mm equiv.|
The TG-4’s modest zoom range was still enough to help achieve framing that I couldn’t quite get with my smartphone. Raw capture came in handy again, with lots of high contrast scenes that could be rescued in post-processing. And what good is it taking a vacation to a fictional English village if you can’t share photos with all of your friends instantly? Wi-Fi was key in making sure I shared important moments with all of my BFFs just moments after I’d captured them.
To be totally honest the TG-4 isn’t that special outside of its rugged properties. Its sensor is small, controls are limited, zoom range is minimal and its metering keeps you guessing. But bringing it on a raft or to a theme park and knowing that I won’t have to coddle it is worth a lot to me. I can take pictures, or throw it in my bag and just enjoy my butter beer and hardly know the difference.