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Photo Workshop: South Dakota

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News
Event date:
  • April 14th, 2016 at 9:00am to April 16th, 2016 at 2:00pm
 
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Macphun offers Aurora HDR Pro 3-month payment plan

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

Macphun has announced a new 3-month payment plan for Aurora HDR Pro, the image editing application for Mac OS X it launched in November. Rather than requiring the full $99 USD price at the time of purchase, the payment plan allows users to pay $33 per month for three months, while still gaining immediate access to the software license.

According to Macphun, Aurora HDR has been downloaded more than 150,000 times since its launch. The payment plan doesn’t involve a subscription and does not charge interest. The company’s 'bonus of the month' gift to customers is also provided to users who opt for the 3-month installment.

The payment plan is now available through the Aurora HDR website.

 
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Polaroid launches Eyeball panoramic tripod head

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

A remote control spinning tripod head that is said to be ideal for shooting panoramas has been launched in the US and UK by Polaroid. The Panorama Eyeball Head fits on a tripod or stands freely on its own feet, and can accommodate DSLRs as well as compacts. The control unit connects with the head via an IR link and manages both the speed and direction of rotation. 

The head is capable of turning a full 360° and the company says that careful gearing ensures the motion is always smooth. There are five speed modes as well as a mode that provides three fixed viewpoints up to 75° apart. 

The head is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that is said to provide up to five hours of standby time, and which can be recharged via a powered USB port. 

The Polaroid Panorama Eyeball Head costs £44.99/$49.99 through Amazon. 


Press release:

RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ – The versatile Polaroid remote-controlled 360° panorama eyeball head accessory is a compact, portable freestanding mini tripod that can also be placed on a tripod, slider or even selfie stick. Designed for Polaroid cameras, other small popular cameras and SLRs, the Polaroid remote-controlled 360° panorama eyeball head is ideal for creating the perfect panoramic video or picture. IR remote controls offer five speed modes, clockwise and counter clockwise rotation, as well as a triangle mode up to 75°.

Panoramic Shooting Made Plenty Fun

For the contemporary videographer, being able to capture expansive panoramic vistas without any shake or distortion is an absolute must. Thankfully, the Polaroid remote-controlled 360° panorama eyeball head delivers effortless and precisely controlled results. It is compatible with a range of action cameras such as the Polaroid Cube lifestyle action camera line and smaller digital cameras (with ¼” threaded hole). Attachment comes included.

Turns on a Dime – or Quarter

The Polaroid remote-controlled panorama eyeball head rotates your camera in its place, clockwise or counterclockwise, for smooth shooting action. Users can easily control the turning degree from 0 to 360°.

Heeds Your Need for Speed

Using the remote, shooters can also control the exact rotational speed. Press a button to speed up, and press a button to slow down. And thanks to finely calibrated gears, the action always remains perfectly smooth.

Functions Free or Mounted

At the top, a ¼” threaded screw connects to a wide variety of cameras. A padded platform prevents motion-related scratches. At the bottom, a ¼” threaded hole accepts tripod and slider connections for greater application flexibility.

Runs on Built-In Battery

To make this already compact and pocket-sized head as portable as possible, the built-in battery is rechargeable from any USB port or power outlet. A single charge provides five hours of standby and over three hours of non-stop runtime.

The Polaroid remote-controlled 360° panorama eyeball head accessory is available now for $49.99.

 
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Video: Hands-on with Sony’s G Master lenses and the a6300 at CP+ 2016

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

There are lots of new products vying for attention at CP+ 2016, including Sony's a6300 and new GM series lenses for its full-frame mirrorless cameras. And they are getting plenty of attention from show attendees, especially those eager to try out the FE 85mm F1.4 GM's portrait capabilities. We took another look at the a6300 and the GM lenses on display at the buzzing Sony booth in Yokohama. 

 
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Leica and Huawei announce partnership to ‘reinvent smartphone photography’

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

We've seen established members of the optical industry partner with smartphone makers before – Nokia high-end phones used to come with Carl Zeiss branded lenses, and Schneider Kreuznach optics have been used in various models from Chinese manufacturer Oppo. Now it seems we could soon see Leica-branded lenses and other imaging technology in Huawei smartphones. Read more

 
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CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS 80D and G7 X Mark II

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

As usual at the CP+ show in Yokohama, one of the longest lines can be found Canon's booth. This year, Canon's EOS 80D and EOS-1D X Mark II were in huge demand from both press and public attendees alike, and we fought our way through the crowd to get hands on with both new models - and the surprisingly nice PowerShot G7 X Mark II.

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

First up is the Canon EOS 80D. The 80D features a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 45-point all cross-type autofocus system, and the company's DIGIC 6 processor. Cosmetically similar to the popular 70D, the new model offers a number of significant updates.

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II 

The 80D will be familiar to users of the 70D of course, but operationally it shares a lot of features from much earlier cameras in Canon's EOS lineup, going right back to the original D30 of 2000. It's easy to dismiss this kind of homogeneity as conservative - even unimaginative, but there's a reason that DSLRs in 2016 still look and function much like DSLRs from the early 2000s. It works. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II 

When using live view or recording video users can take advantage of the 80D's improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which provides phase-detection autofocus with the mirror locked up in Live View. This particular iteration is Canon's first attempt at Servo AF using Dual Pixel technology - and it works very nicely in our initial testing with moving subjects. So nicely, in fact, that we can't to see it extended to all Canon DSLRs... and maybe even, well, that's a lot of wishful thinking.

The 3" rear LCD is touch sensitive and fully articulating, which is handy for shooting from low and high angles, and also for video. The 80D can record 1080/60p video and offers sockets for both a microphone and headphones. Wi-Fi is also built in, with support for NFC.

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

Although it lacks 4K, the 80D is a capable HD video camera. With the addition of the PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter (currently only compatible with the new 18-135mm kit zoom) and DM-E1 shotgun microphone it's a powerful and surprisingly ergonomic package. We suspect that most serious Canon videographers will look towards the Cinema EOS line but students and beginner filmmakers will appreciate the 80D's ease of use, and potentially its excellent autofocus - with no hunting - in video. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

One camera that is definitely of interest to professionals is Canon's new flagship stills model the EOS-1D X Mark II. The 1D X Mark II builds on the basic concept behind the 1D X, but offers increased resolution (from 18 to 20MP) increased speed (16fps in live view mode, 14fps in conventional DSLR mode) and 4K video capture. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

The EOS-1D X Mark II's autofocus system has also been upgraded. The 61-point AF array covers a greater area, and these AF points work in concert with a 360,000 pixel metering sensor which should, in theory, mean better tracking of moving subjects. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

Ergonomically, the EOS-1D X Mark II is - like the 80D - very similar to its predecessors. Professional users are even less accepting of change than enthusiasts because with years of muscle memory built up, they need key controls to stay more or less in the same place from model to model. As such, the EOS-1D X Mark II looks and operates a lot like its predecessor, and indeed some key controls have barely moved since the original film EOS-1.

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

The EOS-1D X Mark II's battery (which fits horizontally inside the base of the camera) should be good for more than 1200 images in normal use - a major differentiator of professional DSLRs compared to lower-end models (and any current mirrorless camera). Needless to say, the EOS-1D X Mark II is fully weather-sealed and feels like it's been milled from a solid lump of something very solid, very expensive and very heavy.

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

Who would have thought that after 16 years, professional Canon DSLRs would still be using CompactFlash cards? But here we are in 2016, and the same media that fit inside the original EOS-1D can still be used in the EOS-1D X Mark II. New in the current flagship though is a second slot for cosmetically similar (but physically incompatible) C-Fast cards. C-Fast cards are capable of greater data throughput, which will help if you're one of those people that likes to shoot extended bursts of 170 Raw files at 14fps.

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II 

If you are one of those people, you should pay attention ti the warning inside the EOS-1D X Mark II's card slot. Don't go burning your fingers after shooting. It gives a new meaning to the term 'blazingly fast'...

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

Ethernet? Why yes. Although the EOS-1D X Mark II can communicate over Wi-Fi using the WFT-E8A transmitter, a 330Mbps wired connection is still the best option for absolute speed when shooting intensely at (say) the Olympics. It's no coincidence that Canon (like Nikon) likes to release new professional cameras in Olympic years. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II 

At the other end of Canon's camera range is the 20MP PowerShot G7 X Mark II. We really liked the original G7 X for everyday 'carry everywhere' shooting but it had some limitations. The Mark II has not been significantly changed when it comes to ergonomics or core features (inside you'll find the same excellent 20MP 1-inch sensor and 24-100mm equivalent lens), but Canon has made some improvements. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

One of those improvements is a front dial that can be switched from clicking to non-clicking operation, and a subtle front grip, in place of the smooth body of the original G7 X. 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II

A new Digic 7 processor brings very welcome performance improvements, especially in Raw mode. Raw capture is now possible at 8fps and while standing at Canon's booth we shot for more than 20 frames before the camera that we used started to slow. Finally, a Canon PowerShot G-series compact that is genuinely usable in Raw mode... 

CP+ 2016: Canon shows off new DSLRs and G7 X Mark II 

The G7 X Mark II's rear screen is a multi-angle 3.0-inch capacitive  model with 1.04 million dots, capable of tilting up to 180° upwards (for selfies) and 45° down (for other things). The G7 X Mark II will be available in May for $699.

 
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CP+ 2016: A look inside the G Master lenses at the Sony booth

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Earlier this year, Sony announced a trio of new lenses dubbed G Master, which include the Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 GM, the Sony FE 70-200 F2.8 GM and the Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM. These three lenses helped to fill noticeable gaps near the higher end of Sony's lens lineup.

And, no, we didn't Photoshop in that gap in the lens lineup above just to make a point.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

The G Master lenses are chock-full of new and advanced technologies meant to maximize image quality, autofocus speed and accuracy, durability, and bokeh. Let's take a look inside...

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Here's the 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens cut in half. This lens comprises 18 elements in 13 groups, and features three aspherical elements, including an extreme aspherical (XA) element - more on that later. An ED (extra low dispersion) and Super ED glass element help minimize chromatic aberration while maintaining high resolution and bokeh characteristics. We believe it - our initial samples show very well-controlled chromatic aberration, and bordering on eye-popping sharpness even on a 42MP sensor, when shooting this lens wide open.

A 9-bladed aperture helps confer a circular shape to out-of-focus highlights, but it's the autofocus system in this lens that most excites us. A Direct Drive SSM (super sonic wave motor) positions a relatively small group of focus elements accurately and quickly, and when we say quickly we mean with nearly unprecedented speed for this type of lens. We've become fans of Direct Drive SSM for AF ever since we saw the speed it confers in the FE 35mm F1.4. Focus, including continuous tracking, is nearly instantaneous on this 24-70 GM, which is fairly unexpected considering its counterparts in the DSLR arena. Focus is also both smooth and quiet, making it a great lens for video as well as stills.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

The new XA (extreme aspherical) element is claimed to reduce aberration and deliver high resolution throughout the entire zoom and aperture range, across the entire frame. Sony claims to have achieved this via extremely high surface precision, maintained to within 0.01 micron tolerances. This should help reduce imperfections that can lead to onion-ring bokeh, typically an issue with aspherical lenses. 

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Sony has also recently announced the FE 85mm F1.4 GM, shown here cut in half. This lens comprises 11 elements in 8 groups, and features a new XA (extreme aspherical) element as well as three ED (extra low dispersion) elements that help optimize both resolution and smooth transitions to out-of-focus areas. It's also got a 'Nano' anti-reflective coating on its front element to reduce flare and ghosting, particularly useful for maintaining contrast in backlit portraits. 

The 85mm GM lens utilizes a ring drive SSM (super sonic wave motor) to drive the lens' large, heavy focus group. In other words, this lens is much like some of its DSLR counterparts in terms in focusing speed - very fast, but not quite as fast - in our initial impressions - as Sony's own Direct Drive SSM combined with a relatively small focusing group in the 24-70mm F2.8 GM. Two position sensors support accurate positioning of the focus elements, which should ensure accuracy of focus.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Particularly nice is the 11-blade circular aperture in the 85mm F1.4 (and 70-200mm F2.8) GM lenses. The more blades you have, the more circular the aperture remains even when stopped down significantly - especially with the curved blades typical of almost all lenses today. Most modern lenses have between 7 and 9 blades these days, with 9 blades being reserved more pro-level lenses. 11 takes it a step further and, indeed, the opening retains a circular, less polygonal shape as you stop down (here it is in action). This should ensure circular out-of-focus highlights and increased quality of bokeh, even at smaller apertures.

And why go from 9 to 11 blades, skipping 10? Odd numbers of aperture blades are generally better for their more favorable sunstar rendition, creating sunbursts with twice the number of rays as aperture blades when stopped down. Even-numbered designs only create sunbursts with as many rays as aperture blades, so while a 10-blade aperture would produce 10-ray stars, an 11-blade aperture would produce 22-blade stars. Of course, longer focal lengths and circular aperture designs are less prone to creating sunstars at all - and we have no idea if this was the actual thinking behind the choice - but it's still nice to see the general trend toward odd numbers of aperture blades.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Pictured here is the new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS telephoto zoom lens Sony recently announced, cut in half of course. This lens, like the 24-70mm GM lens, features XA, Super ED, and ED glass elements to help achieve high resolution and desirable bokeh characteristics. It's got 23 elements in 18 groups. A 'Nano' anti-reflective coating ensures reduced flare and ghosting. An additional fluorine coating to the front of the lens help keep it clean, and the lens is dust and moisture resistant.

OSS (Optical Steady Shot) is built into the lens, despite the availability of IBIS in a7-series cameras, because for longer focal lengths, it's beneficial to do a certain amount of the stabilization in-lens, because of how much the sensor would have to move to compensate for even slight angular displacements. The two systems - OSS and IBIS - theoretically work together to provide even more effective stabilization than any one method might provide.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

The autofocus system on the FE 70-200mm GM OSS is quite intriguing: it's a floating focus system, which sees its debut in an ? lens. This floating system design contributes to its impressive minimum focusing distance of 0.96m, and also helps control aberrations that might otherwise be problematic when focusing at close distances. 

Pictured on the left is the more traditional ring-drive SSM motor that's required to drive the large, heavy glass elements typical of this type of lens. The double linear motor of this system, pictured on the right, allows for effective 'wobbling' actuation (typically used in contrast-only AF), which is useful when shooting video. The entire focusing mechanism is also very quiet - and smooth - which ensures AF performance is optimized for both stills and video shooting. 

The 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS lens also functions with Sony's newly announced 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, which may somewhat make up for the lack of longer telephoto lenses (for the time being anyway).

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Lifting our heads back up from the tech demos and turning our attention to other things (wait, where'd Rishi go?), we see that in typical trade-show form, Sony's provided some subject matter for eager attendees to test the latest tech. But if you were to show up to CP+ hoping to capture some model mayhem using the new GM lenses, you'd have to make do with the 85mm F1.4 GM, the only new GM lens available in front of this display.

And don't worry, if you're already missing the lens-cut-in-half thing, you can get your fix when our Editor Barney returns with many more things cut in half later this week. Like nicely packed, and then cut in half lunch sandwiches.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

At first glance, the 85mm F1.4 GM looks a little unwieldy on an a7-series camera, but in hand, the pair balance remarkably well. The lens has a pleasingly solid heft to it without feeling too front-heavy. At 820g, it's significantly heavier than, say, Nikon's counterpart (595g), but our initial impressions are that the sharpness wide open - even off-center - and lack of chromatic aberration might make the weight more than worth it.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Beyond the price of a CP+ admission ticket, there's no charge to try out the new 85mm F1.4 GM - but to get one of your very own, you'll need $1800 when it goes on sale in March. Also of note for video shooters is the ability to de-click the aperture dial for smoother operation.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Although you're a little ways away from the real models, you can try out the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM on some beleaguered Sony reps behind the counter. And though it appears a bit hefty on the smaller a7-series bodies, it balances well - particularly if you have a vertical grip attached. At 886g, it's not unreasonably heavy, and the extra heft may be well worth it anyway - our preliminary impressions are that this is the sharpest 24-70mm zoom (particularly wide open) we've ever seen.

It will be available in March for $2200.

CP+ 2016: Sony stand report and G Master action

Last up is the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM. As you can probably tell from this image, the lens itself isn't overly large, but it's definitely got some weight to it. At 1480g, it's around the weight of Canon's equivalent lens, which means you'll really want a grip on an a7-series camera to balance the weight well. The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS will be available in March, and the price is still TBD.

Overall, the G Master lenses appear to be solid additions to Sony's FE lens lineup, potentially addressing the need for professional-level lenses for the system. We've shot a few shots with these lenses on a 42MP a7R II, and it's clear from the sharpness and chromatic aberration results, as well as AF speeds, that Sony is clearly targeting professionals, and high-end enthusiasts, with these lenses. And we expect them to compare favorably against even the best counterparts offered by the stalwarts in the industry. We'll reserve judgement until we've had time to do more rigorous, side-by-side testing, but for the time being, it's safe to say we're very impressed.

 
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CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS100

Published on February 26, 2016 by in News

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan, Panasonic unveiled the Lumix G Vario 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power O.I.S. lens. Featuring a splash and dustproof design, the 24-120mm equivalent zoom is designed to be a lightweight, versatile companion to Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds cameras. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

The new 12-60mm is smaller and much lighter than we expected from the specification. Although it is weather-sealed and boasts 11 elements in 9 groups, it weighs a mere 210 g (0.46 lb).

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

The lens is constructed from polycarbonate, but the mount is metal. It's hard to see in this image but there's a rubber gasket around the lens throat which prevents dust and moisture from getting into the camera. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

This is an O.I.S lens, which means that it is optically stabilized. In combination with the in-body stabilization of the Lumix DMC-GX8 this means that it supports Panasonic's Dual IS feature, which we've found offers very good performance across a wide range of focal lengths, but especially at long telephoto settings, where in-body stabilization alone can sometimes struggle.  

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

The Lumix G Vario 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH will be available in May for $499.99.

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

Announced before the show, CP+ was the first chance that most Panasonic users have had to play with the new Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 telezoom. We got the chance to shoot with one recently and it certainly impressed us.

Covering a focal length range equivalent to 200-800mm when attached to a Micro Four Thirds body this powerful zoom appropriately features 'Power' optical image stabilization to keep things steady. It has has one aspherical, one UED, and two 'regular' ED elements, as well as a nine-bladed circular aperture. The minimum focus distance is 1.3m, with a magnification of 0.25x.  

The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 F4-6.3 will be available in early April at a price of $1799.99.

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

Also annouced before the show, here's the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (known as the TZ100 in most regions outside of North America). It's a compact travel zoom of the kind that Panasonic has historically been particularly good at, but unusually it features a 20 megapixel, 1"-type sensor. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

That 20MP sensor is paired with a 25-250mm equivalent F2.8-5.9 Leica DC lens which incorporates the company's snappy Depth from Defocus autofocus technology. It offers a 3" touchscreen LCD as well as a 1.04M-dot electronic viewfinder, Raw support, 10 fps continuous shooting (5 fps with AF) and Wi-Fi. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

On the video side of things the ZS-100 can record 4K/UHD video at 30p and 24p as well as 1080/60p clips. Panasonic's unique 4K photo mode lets you grab high quality 8MP stills from 4K video.

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with new Panasonic lenses and ZS-100

A built-in EVF, 25-250mm equivalent lens and plenty of manual controls make the ZS-100 a very attractive camera for traveling, in theory. We're expecting a reviewable camera very soon and we'll be posting sample images as fast as we can. 

 
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CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron’s new SP prime lenses

Published on February 25, 2016 by in News

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

Tamron is showing off two brand new lenses at CP+ this year - the SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD (shown here) and SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro. The 'SP' in the model names stands for 'Super Performance' - a designation that Tamron reserves for its high-end optics. We headed to the Tamron booth today and got our hands on the new lenses, and Tamron's upcoming TAP-in Console.

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

First up is the SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD, which slots right alongside the previously-announced 35mm and 45mm F1.8 primes that Tamron released last year. Like those lenses it is relatively compact, but feels extremely solid and has a nice weight to it, balancing well on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (provided by Tamron to get a feel for the how the lens handles). 

It's worth noting the Nikon version of this lens uses an electromagnetic aperture control, rather than the traditional aperture lever.

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

The 85mm features LD (low dispersion) and XLD (extra low dispersion) elements to reduce flare and ghosting and a fluorine coating on the front element to keep moisture and fingerprints at bay. Nine aperture blades ensure circular out-of-focus highlights. MTF (theoretical) curves suggest outstanding resolution and contrast. The VC system offers up to 3.5 stops of shake reduction (tested to CIPA standards) and its ring-type ultrasonic motor provides fast and near-silent autofocus when we tested this pre-production sample.

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

It's hard to see in this photo, but the lens mount of the new 85mm and 90mm SP primes is protected by a rubber gasket, to protect against dust and moisture incursion into the lens throat. Expected to be available in April in Canon and Nikon mount versions, a Sony A-mount version will follow later. Pricing is still TBC. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

Next up is the SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro, which offers true macro 1:1 reproduction at a focusing distance of 13.9cm/5.5in. A 9-blade aperture ensures circular out-of-focus highlights. Tamron has been making a 90mm macro lens of some or other kind for a very very long time, and all of them have been extremely well-regarded. Our first impressions of the new 90mm are that in terms of handling, this might be the best yet. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

Like the other recently-announced SP primes, build quality is very high, and just in terms of aesthetics, the new 90mm looks great. It seems that Tamron has been looking over its shoulder at Sigma's 'Art' range and this is no bad thing. Like those lenses, all of Tamron's new SP primes look more expensive than they are. The 90mm macro will be available next month for a very reasonable $649.

Again, we've only handled a pre-production sample but just from first impressions we're excited to get it into our studio as soon as possible. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

Tamron's new 'TAP-in Console' is also distinctly Sigma-esque. (An early engineering sample is shown here). Available for Nikon and Canon-mount versions of the SP 85mm F1.8, SP 90mm F2.8 Macro, SP 45mm F1.8, SP 35mm F1.8 lenses (the older 35mm and 45mm primes will need updating at a Tamron service center) the TAP-in Console will allow users to calibrate their lenses for precise AF, at either end of a zoom and at three different subject distance ranges (near, mid, far), as well as adjust VC performance parameters. 

CP+ 2016: Hands-on with Tamron's new SP prime lenses

Projected to be available next month, Tamron has not yet announced pricing information for the TAP-in console but after seeing coming to appreciate the value of Sigma's dock, we're very pleased to see this kind of solution being introduced by another manufacturer. Canon and Nikon take note...

 
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Genius T Shirts Have Built-In Camera Lens Cleaning Cloths

Published on February 25, 2016 by in News
Genius Tee Shirt For Photographers

Courtesy of Genius Tees

Genius Pocket Tee shirt

It seems like there has been a bit of a boom in the photographer-specific clothing market lately. The most recent version to hit my inbox is from the folks at Genius T with built-in lens cloth material at the pocket or on a patch across the hip.

The Pocket Tee seems like the most practical option, with a tie-shaped microfiber tongue that flips out from the shirt pocket ready to clean a lens (or a smartphone or iPad screen if you wish). When the cloth isn’t in use, it’s protected by the pocket to keep it clean and it obscures the fact that there’s anything different about the shirt in the first place.

Genius Tee Shirt For Photographers

Courtesy of Genius Tees

Genius Loop Tee shirt

The Genius Patch Tee has a rather large, triangular patch of microfiber at hip level, which is more geared toward cleaning off an iPad or something of the like, but will work for cameras lenses as well. That patch, however, isn’t protected when not in use.

The Loop Tee has—as you may have guessed—a microfiber loop near the hip, which is less noticeable than the patch.

The shirts are in the $20-$25 range and sound pretty high-quality, so not a bad deal in that regard.

 
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