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Posts Tagged ‘f/2.8’

Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 sample gallery

20 Mar

Like its predecessor, the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 G2 offers moisture-resistance, and we couldn’t be more grateful. We put the updated telezoom to work in one of the rainiest months in recent Seattle history. With improvements to autofocus as well as image stabilization, it’s a substantial upgrade and, thankfully, a lens that’s not afraid of a few showers.

See our Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 sample gallery

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Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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dPS Writer’s Favorite Lenses: I’m Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

09 Mar
My Favourite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

I use my 50mm lens almost exclusively when I’m shooting abstract images.

I won’t lie to you, I’m genuinely torn here. There are two lenses that I could probably say were my favorites. One of those lenses became my favorite out of necessity. It was the only one I owned when I first started shooting with a DSLR. The other became favorite because of its versatility and something much more personal than professional.

My Favourite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

This image was shot with my 50mm lens. It was one of my first attempts at fine art photography. It’s so sharp.

My Favourite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

The large aperture of the 50mm allowed me to shoot during low-light situations.

It all started with the 50mm lens

Let’s head back in history to 2006 when I bought my first DSLR. I found a used Canon Rebel for sale online for $ 200. It came with a 50mm prime lens. That was fantastic; it was in my budget. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time as I was raising three kids under the age of six. I struck a deal with the seller, and I was in business.

When I went to my first camera course, the instructor laughed when he saw my gear. I thought, at first he was making fun of my gear. But, I was wrong, he was excited for me. He said having just the one lens would push me to be creative and to learn and find out how to take great photos. I would have no choice but to think about my composition because of the limitations of my gear. He said he wished all of his students were as limited as I was and that relying on gadgets and a zoom lens stunted creativity. They could essentially cheat instead of learning to see the photograph and position themselves correctly. He inspired me to push myself to learn everything I could about 50mm.

My Favourite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

The 50mm lens is ideal for portraits. It’s lightweight and easy for me to move around with.

I shot landscapes, portraits, macros, and everything in between. I love my 50mm lens because it’s light-weight and affordable. But, I love my nifty 50 because my photos are tack sharp. The bokeh with it is beautiful too, and I love experimenting with the larger aperture. The lens offers photographers so many creative possibilities. Seriously, what lens could be better?

My Favourite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

This is one of the rare times that I was able to use my 50mm with my family.

My second love – the 70-200mm f/2.8

I love the bokeh in this shot. The 70-200mm f/2.8 is awesome for this feature.

Well, it’s time for my second love to make an entrance. I love my 70-200mm f/2.8. This lens was also my first big glass purchase. I scrimped and saved for months to be able to buy it. At the time it seemed like an immense sacrifice, but it was worth it.

The lens is very versatile. I can use it for portraits, indoor sports, macro shooting, and candid images on the street. Really, I can use it for anything. It’s not overly heavy so I can hand hold it for extended periods of time, which is very nice. The large aperture is helpful for low light situations or when I need a fast shutter speed. It’s tack sharp, and the bokeh is beautiful. I take it everywhere. My 70-200mm has been on canoe trips and suffered rainstorms (albeit covered with a large garbage bag). It is my workhorse.

dPS Writer's Favorite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

The focal length of the 70-200mm is perfect for so many types of shots including street shooting or silhouettes at the beach.

All the reasons I listed, however, are not why this lens is my favorite. There is one thing about this lens that makes it unique. This one thing is more personal than it is professional. Those of you who have children will totally connect with me on this element. The longer focal length of this lens means that I can capture authentic images of my family.

My kids are very much sick of their mother taking their photos. They’ve been there and done that far too much. I can never get them to cooperate when I use my 50mm. Instead, my 70-200mm allows me to capture them from a distance. I can be discreet and not invade their fun. I can catch them laughing and acting naturally. Some of my most cherished shots have come from moments like this.

I’m sure my family knows I have my camera out and pointed at them, but because I’m not right in their faces they forget about me. Or at the very least they can ignore me. It’s the one thing I can’t do with my 50mm, and for this reason, the 70-200mm wins a special place in my heart.

dPS Writer's Favorite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

I like shooting landscapes with the 70mm range on this lens.

There are emotional ties to this lens

dPS Writer's Favorite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

He was just having fun. He wasn’t aware of my presence with my camera. Yes, his face is a little soft, but this shot is emotional and personal, not professional.

Forget all the features and the specs. I’m not overly worried about chromatic aberration or vibration reduction controls. The 70-200mm holds a place in my heart because it allows me to capture the love and adoration I have for my children. I can make precious memories. My 70-200mm is an emotional favorite. It’s a very personal preference. It is a beautiful, durable, incredible lens that helps me succeed in my business – but it also helps me to capture personal memories.

dPS Writer's Favorite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

Capturing joy; I think it’s a great reason to love this lens.

dPS Writer's Favorite Lenses: I'm Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8

I could have zoomed in more, but I wanted to capture the environment too.

Your favorite lens

What’s your favorite lens? Share it with us in the comments below. Maybe you love your inexpensive 18-55mm kit lens. Tell us why. We want to hear your stories. Forget the specs, what kinds of joy does the lens bring to your life?

My teenager has become so jaded that my 70-200mm is the only way I can capture images of him.

The post dPS Writer’s Favorite Lenses: I’m Torn Between My Nifty Fifty and 70-200mm F2.8 by Erin Fitzgibbon appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Lensrentals and the continuing saga of the broken Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM

04 Mar

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Last week we took a look at Lensrentals’ six hour initial disassembly of a broken Sony FE 70-200 F2.8 GM lens (would hate to be the person who dropped it!). In part two, the guys from LR continue to take apart the lens, to see if it can be saved or sent to the scrapyard.

Read LensRentals’ Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM Teardown (Part 2)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Lensrentals and the mysterious case of the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM

25 Feb

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One lens’ bad fortune is our gain: the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM’s optical test results had been puzzling the team at Lensrentals, and when a customer dropped one recently a teardown was in order. The teardown took a total of six hours – twice the usual amount of time required – and along the way they found a lot of solidly constructed pieces, a mysterious component they dubbed the ‘Southern Fairy Tale Ring,’ and a great deal of silicone glue.

This article details the first part of the teardown, showing the disassembly of the first half of the lens up to the point where a snack break was needed. It’s a long read but as always, thoroughly fascinating and entertaining. It turns out that construction of the FE 70-200mm F2.8 is a bit unconventional, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Read LensRentals’ Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Teardown (Part 1)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma announces 14mm F1.8, 24-70mm F2.8 and 135mm F1.8 Art lenses

21 Feb

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Sigma has released a trio of its high-end ‘Art’ lenses: two primes and one zoom. All three are designed for full-frame Canon, Nikon and Sigma bodies.

The first is the ultra-wide 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, which Sigma claims is the ‘world’s first and only F1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens.’  The lens has 16 elements, three of which are FLD (low dispersion) and four are SLD (super-low-dispersion). It also has a large (80mm) aspherical front element to reduce distortion and ‘deliver outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.’ The 14mm F1.8 has 9 rounded aperture blades, a minimum focus distance of 27cm/11in and a ring-type ultrasonic (HSM) focus motor.

Next up is the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art. This lens features three SLD and four aspherical, nine rounded aperture blades and optical image stabilization. The lens is weather-sealed and made of a combination of metal and ‘thermally stable composite’ material. The minimum focus distance of the 24-70 is 37cm/1.5in and it uses 82mm filters.

Last, but certainly not least, is the 135mm F1.8 DG HSM telephoto prime. Sigma says that this lens ‘offers the […] resolution required for 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs.’ It has a hypersonic (ring-type ultrasonic) focus motor that delivers fast (and ‘exceptionally stable’) focus speeds, while an acceleration sensor ‘detects the orientation of the lens’ so the AF system can respond to ‘varying loads on the focusing group due to gravity.’

The lens has 9 rounded aperture blades, dust and splashproof construction, and a weight of 1130g/40.2oz.

Pricing and availability for all three lenses will be announced at a date to be determined.

Press Releases:

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM
Introducing the world’s first and only* F1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens

A true high-speed lens that delivers a new dimension of visual experience

*Among interchangeable lens for digital SLRs as of February 2017

  1. 14mm ultra-wide angle of view and F1.8 brightness deliver a new dimension of visual experience
  2. Seventh 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line
  3. Other features 

A true high-speed lens that delivers a new dimension of visual experience

In taking photographs of starry skies or other celestial scenes at night, or of the seashore with a wide perspective, a large-diameter lens is a strong ally, since it allows the capture of a moving subject by adjusting shutter speed without relying on ISO sensitivity. With its full-frame 35mm coverage, 14mm focal length for an ultra-wide angle of view, F2 barrier-breaking F1.8, the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is the true high-speed ultra-wide-angle lens for which so many photographers have been waiting. Although some zoom lenses are available that can cover 14mm, the large diameter delivering F1.8 brightness is a singular advantage. Going beyond fast shutter speed, this lens can capture a swarm of fireflies with crystal clarity, a beautiful bokeh effect, and outstanding control of light streaking.

?Key features?

  1. 14mm ultra-wide angle of view and F1.8 brightness deliver a new dimension of visual experience

By leveraging its extreme angle of view and the dramatic perspective this creates, an ultra-wide-angle lens can get up close and personal with a subject while at the same time taking in a vast background—an example of photography going beyond normal human vision.

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art combines the extremely deep depth of field that comes from an ultra-wide angle of view with the extremely shallow depth of field that comes from F1.8 brightness. The result is a sharply captured subject set against a vast background dramatically blurred with a beautiful bokeh effect. It is a highly impressive mode of photographic expression that until now simply has not existed.

  • Minimized chromatic aberrations

Three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and four SLD (Super Low Dispersion) glass elements help minimize transverse chromatic aberration, which tends to be noticeable in shots taken with ultra-wide-angle lenses. The result is outstanding image quality from the center of the image to the edges.

  • Featuring a large-diameter aspherical lens element

The SIGMA 12-24mmF4 DG HSM | Art was the first SIGMA lens to feature a large ?80mm aspherical lens element. Building on the expertise derived from this success, the new lens features a large ?80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens as its front element. This technology has made possible the 14mm F1.8 specification—the first of its kind.

  • Minimized distortion

Serving as the front lens element, the large ?80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens effectively minimizes distortion. Offering excellent peripheral brightness, this lens delivers outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.

  • Distinctive bokeh effect

Even at the 14mm ultra-wide-angle of view, F1.8 brightness makes possible a very shallow depth of field with the subject standing out dramatically against a bokeh background. It’s the unique mode of expression that only a large-diameter lens can deliver. 

  1. Seventh 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

Launched in 2012, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was the first lens in the Art line. Since then, SIGMA has developed a wide variety of lenses for the line, and the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is the seventh prime lens in the line to offer 35mm full-frame coverage. Now even stronger, the Art line sets the new standard for prime lenses in the ultra-high-megapixel era.

  1. Other features
  • Fast AF with full-time manual override

Note: The operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type

  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release

SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM
Top-level performance optimized for the era of ultra-high-megapixel cameras

  1. The large-diameter standard zoom ideal for today’s ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras
  2. OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot
  3. Lens barrel designed for high rigidity
  4. Other features?

The definitive large-diameter standard zoom lens for any shoot

What photographers demand from the 24-70mm F2.8 specification is much more than outstanding image quality. They want all the features that make this a go-to lens for a wide range of photographic opportunities, including optical design ideal for the latest ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras, hypersonic motor (HSM) for high-speed autofocus, optical stabilizer (OS) with powerful stabilization effect, dust- and splash-proof mount with rubber sealing, and a metal barrel for a stable, rigid feel. This all-new 24-70mm F2.8 lens from SIGMA delivers the performance and functionality that help pros succeed in news, nature, and many other fields of photography.

?Key features?

  1. The large-diameter standard zoom ideal for today’s ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras 
  • Outstanding optical performance

Three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass lens elements and four aspherical lens elements help minimize optical aberrations. To ensure outstanding image quality from the center to the edges of the photograph, the optical system minimizes coma, which causes points of light to streak, and transverse chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected via aperture control, The optical system also minimizes distortion, which can be particularly evident in wide-angle shots, resulting in excellent optical performance throughout the zoom range.

  • A 24-70mm F2.8 lens that meets the high standards of the Art line

SIGMA has continuously pioneered 24-70mm F2.8 lenses that are a step ahead of the times. The first model of this specification, SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL DF, launched in 2001. Representing the fourth generation of the family, the new SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art accomplishes a challenging feat in optical design: incorporating optical stabilizer functionality in a large-diameter standard zoom. By leveraging all of its design and manufacturing expertise, SIGMA has ensured that this new lens fulfills the uncompromising requirements of the Art line for image and build quality.

  • Bokeh that is a cut above

At wide-open aperture, this lens offers outstanding photographic expression. The area in focus is extremely sharp, while the background exhibits a beautiful bokeh effect with only slight spherical aberration. Since large-diameter zoom lenses are often used at wide-open aperture, SIGMA has paid close attention to the shape of the bokeh, aiming for perfect circularity. 

  • Incorporating advanced aspherical lens processing technology

Aspherical lenses necessitate refined expertise in the design and manufacturing of advanced, high-performance lenses. SIGMA’s first products to feature this technology were the SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art, which both incorporated a large ?80mm aspherical lens as their front lens element. Building on the success of these predecessors, the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art incorporates an aspherical lens element that helps achieve extremely high resolution. This element is much thicker at the center than the edges, and forming its unusual shape is a feat of manufacturing technology. Moreover, SIGMA processes the surface of this aspherical lens element with ultra-precise tolerances that are measured in hundredths of a micrometer. This extremely fine surface allows the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art to deliver a very natural and smooth bokeh effect, without the visible concentric rings that afflict typical aspherical lens elements.

  1. OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot

Designed for advanced utility in a wide variety of situations, the optical stabilizer (OS) offers a powerful stabilization effect. The newly designed large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers 1.3 times the torque of its predecessor and exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds.

* Based on CIPA’s guideline. Measuring at telephoto end, when it is attached to the camera with 35mm image sensor.

  1. Lens barrel designed for high rigidity

Since large-diameter standard zoom lenses tend to serve as a go-to lens and see frequent use, the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art is designed to stand up to the challenging shooting environments that pros encounter. To this end, the lens barrel contains a large amount of metal, while the external moving parts feature thermally stable composite (TSC), which is resistant to thermal expansion and contraction. This structure contributes not only to the outstanding optical performance of the lens but also to its high rigidity and confidence-inspiring build quality.

  1. Other features
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof design

Since the area of the lens most vulnerable to dust and other foreign bodies is the mount, rubber sealing helps provide peace of mind. In addition, the front lens element features a water- and oil-repellent coating that helps the lens perform well in the rain, near water, and in other challenging conditions.

  • Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included

The Nikon mount version of this lens includes an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that allows it to receive the appropriate signals from the camera body. This feature ensures precision diaphragm control and stable Auto Exposure (AE) performance during continuous shooting.

Note: Functionality may be limited on some camera bodies.

  • Fast AF with full-time manual focus
  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release

SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM
With F1.8 brightness, this telephoto lens for full-frame cameras further strengthens the Art line’s prime options

  1. The ultimate 135mm telephoto designed to prioritize optical performance
  2. Fast and nimble autofocus photography
  3. Sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line
  4. Other features? 

Introducing the ultimate 135mm telephoto featuring top-level performance

135mm telephoto lenses are often categorized as the foundational telephoto, the first one to add to a lens collection. This focal length delivers a strong perspective compression effect, while the large diameter with F1.8 brightness provides a dramatic bokeh effect. By minimizing axial chromatic aberration, the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art makes this bokeh effect not only impressive but also beautiful while delivering superb contrast and sharp image quality in every shot. It offers the outstanding resolution required for 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs. By incorporating its latest innovations in design and optical glass and rethinking every aspect of the lens, SIGMA has ensured outstanding image quality all the way to the edges, establishing the new standard in 135mm telephoto lenses.

With resolution so crystal-clear that individual hairs can be discerned in a portrait, this large-diameter lens also delivers a beautiful bokeh effect, giving photographers everything they need. It is ideal for close-ups and full-body shots, with subjects standing out against a pleasantly blurred background. In addition to standard portraits, including bridal shots, this lens is a top performer for live events, with its super-fast autofocus capturing subjects with ease.

?Key features?

  1. The ultimate 135mm telephoto designed to prioritize optical performance
  • Image quality optimal for ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs

To deliver the ultra-high resolution that brings the best out of 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs, the focus mechanism features SIGMA’s floating system. No matter what the distance from the subject, this lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image. By minimizing distortion as well, the lens delivers impeccable image quality—no need for digital adjustment during image processing.

  • Ideal for portraits requiring a dramatic bokeh effect

The 135mm focal length delivers a stunning compression effect: even fairly close to the subject, the telephoto ring allows the photographer to establish a variety of dramatic perspectives. The compression effect truly shines in both close-ups and full-length portraits, making composition easy. Moreover, the large diameter with F1.8 brightness makes possible a body shot with an impressive bokeh background. In sum, this lens puts a full menu of compositional options at the photographer’s fingertips.

  1. Fast and nimble autofocus photography

The large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers two benefits. It delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds. The acceleration sensor detects the orientation of the lens, allowing the autofocus system to respond to varying loads on the focusing group due to gravity. Along with the optimized AF algorithm, these features deliver fast autofocus photography. In addition, the focus limiter makes AF highly responsive to distance from the subject for even more nimble performance.

  1. Sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

Launched in 2012, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was the first lens in the Art line. Since then, SIGMA has developed a wide variety of lenses for the line, and the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM?Art is the sixth prime lens in the line to offer 35mm full-frame coverage. Now even stronger, the Art line sets the new standard for prime lenses in the ultra-high-megapixel era.

  1. Other features 
  • Fast AF with full-time manual override

Note: The operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type

  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof construction
  • Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release

Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM / 135mm F1.8 DG HSM specifications

  Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art
Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 14 mm 135 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA Bayonet
Aperture
Maximum aperture F1.8
Minimum aperture F16
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 16 13
Groups 11 10
Special elements / coatings Three FLD and four SLD elements
Focus
Minimum focus 0.27 m (10.63) 0.88 m (34.65)
Maximum magnification 0.1× 0.2×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Focus notes Floating focus mechanism
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter No Yes
Physical
Weight 1170 g (2.58 lb) 1130 g (2.49 lb)
Diameter 95 mm (3.76) 91 mm (3.6)
Length 126 mm (4.96) 115 mm (4.52)
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 82.0 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar No

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 24–70 mm
Image stabilization Yes
Lens mount Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA Bayonet
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 19
Groups 14
Special elements / coatings Three HLD and four aspherical elements
Focus
Minimum focus 0.37 m (14.57)
Maximum magnification 0.21×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Physical
Diameter 88 mm (3.46)
Length 108 mm (4.24)
Materials Metal
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock No
Filter thread 82.0 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code LH876-04
Tripod collar No

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF bokeh demystified

18 Feb

Sony’s new STF (Smooth Trans Focus) 100mm F2.8 GM OSS uses an apodization (APD) filter to create very smooth out-of-focus regions/highlights both in front of, and behind, the focal plane.

But how exactly does it work? Sony has published a video demonstrating the principle, and the effect. Take a look:

The apodization element is a circular graduated neutral density filter that lets in more central light rays than peripheral light rays. This smooths out transitions between out-of-focus elements, leading to quite unique imagery.

The APD element is a (circular) graduated neutral density filter inserted into the optical path of the lens. Out-of-focus light rays that are either converging in front of the focal plane, or diverging behind the focal plane, have a gradual radial softening (seen as darkening of the more oblique rays in front of or behind the focal plane). This yields less interference between out-of-focus light rays and, so, less ‘busy’ and simply smoother bokeh. 

What’s the real-world impact? Have a look at the image comparison below, which compares the foreground and background bokeh with and without the APD element:

The APD element leads to smoother foreground and background bokeh. Note how out-of-focus highlights are smoothed, and this applies to everything. There’s a cost though: sometimes I like sharp, enlarged de-blurred out-of-focus highlights, which you won’t get with this lens. But what you will get is smooth, creamy bokeh.

We’ve had very little time with the lens, but our initial impressions of image quality are extremely positive. If you’d like to learn more about the lens, visit the company’s dedicated page on this lens over at Sony Alpha Universe, then take a look at the phenomenal MTF curves on Sony.com’s site. Yes, this is a sharp lens, but with beautiful bokeh. And image stabilization, to boot, which, combined with IBIS on most E-mount cameras, will allow you to use slow-ish shutter speeds to maximize light gathering, minimizing noise.

Which you’ll need, because wide open, while you have the depth-of-field of F2.8, you have the light transmission of F5.6.

Sony’s E-mount system is becoming increasingly hard to ignore for professional results. With the release of the 100mm STF GM and 85/1.8 lenses, Sony is rounding out a format that already accepts arguably the largest lens lineup in history (thanks to its short flange distance). But the importance of a native lineup cannot be over-stressed, as it is native lenses that benefit most from Sony’s AF technologies.

A note on autofocus…

Similar STF lenses tend to be manual focus or contrast detect-only, since peripheral light rays – the very ones the filter is designed to block out – are necessary for traditional phase-detect sensors to function. However, since (at least Sony’s) on-sensor PDAF sensors can still use more central light rays for focusing, focusing does still work, remarkably well in fact with the a7R II, even indoors, wide open. That’s quite an achievement, in no small part due to the excellent focusing system of the a7R II. What’s more, movement of the focus element(s) is incredibly fast, thanks to the excellent Direct Drive SSM mechanism we’ve seen in blazingly fast-to-focus lenses like the FE 35mm F1.4 and FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM.

“Unlike Sony’s recent releases, this lens focuses wide open…”

In other words, I was able to use to the 100mm STF to focus on faces, even using Eye AF, in fairly low indoor lighting, despite the T5.6 rating at a F2.8 aperture. This is in no small part due to the fact that this lens, unlike Sony’s recent releases, focuses wide open (albeit stopping down after initial acquisition in AF-C). More tests to follow, but simply the fact they got phase-detect AF working, nevermind the AF performance, is nothing short of impressive.

The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS is already shaping up to be a spectacular lens, adding to an already well-rounded, serious E-mount lens lineup.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Video overview: Sony’s FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM and FE 85mm F2.8

10 Feb

We got a closer look at some of the headline features of Sony’s newest FE lenses on the show floor of the Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS and FE 85mm were both introduced earlier this week – take a closer look at what’s new and notable in the overview video above.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

09 Feb

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

Tamron announced two zoom lens updates at this year’s WPPI show in Las Vegas – the full-frame SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 and the APS-C format 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD. Technically, both are ‘updates’ to older products, but the improvements are fairly significant. This is the 70-200mm F2.8, mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

The ‘G2’ 70-200mm F2.8 now carries the ‘SP’ designation, which Tamron reserves for its highest-end lenses. The lens has been completely redesigned, and the new optical design consists of 23 elements in 17 groups. These include extra low dispersion and low dispersion elements to reduce chromatic aberrations. 

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

Mechanically, there have been some changes too. Like Nikon’s new 70-200mm F2.8E, the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8’s zoom ring can be found near the front of the lens, while the focus ring is positioned closer to the camera. Feel free to argue about whether this is a good idea or not in the comments. Minimum focus distance is unequivocally improved, being reduced to 95cm (37.4″) from the previous model’s 130cm (50.7″).

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

Autofocus performance has also been improved, thanks (according to Tamron) to the inclusion of two microcomputers and a new AF algorithm. Vibration Compensation (VC) is enhanced too, and can now compensate up to a claimed 5 stops.

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

The removable tripod collar can be loosened and removed over the lens mount (as opposed to clamshell designs which can be attached and detached when the lens is mounted to a camera). The Nikon mount version of this lens now offers electronic aperture actuation, which is becoming standard on all newer Nikon lenses and should improve exposure accuracy, especially during high framerate burst shooting. 

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

Build quality seems excellent, as we’ve come to expect from all of Tamron’s new generation of ‘SP’ lenses. Dust and moisture seals (including a grommet around the lens mount) help to keep the 70-200mm safe when shooting in tough conditions. The front element is fluorine coated, which should make it easy to quickly clean off water or oily fingerprints. 

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

And here’s the 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD. Designed for APS-C format DSLRs, this wide-angle zoom covers an equivalent focal length range of 15-36mm (16-38mm equiv on Canon).

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

The biggest change in this lens compared to its 2008 predecessor is the addition of Vibration Compensation. Tamron claims 4 stops of compensation, which means that in theory, it should be possible to hand-hold exposures of up to ~1 second at 10mm. Don’t quote us on that, though.

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

The 10-24mm zoom features Tamron’s new HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) AF motor, for smooth and fast autofocus. We’ve only had a few minutes with a prototype lens, but just anecdotally, focus certainly seems fast. Optically, this new lens differs from its predecessor by offering more elements (16, as opposed to 12) in more groups (11, compared to 9) including one LD (Low Dispersion) lens element, one XLD glass element, one molded glass aspherical element, and one hybrid aspherical lens.

Hands on with Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 ‘G2’ zooms

Again, the 10-24mm is sealed against dust and moisture, and build quality is excellent. Like the 70-200mm F2.8 G2, versions of this lens for the Nikon mount now feature fully electronic aperture actuation, allowing aperture to be changed during live view.

We’re looking forward to getting our hands on a production sample to see whether the various upgrades have made a significant difference to image quality. 

The Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 is expected to arrive in March for $ 1299. The Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is slated for availability this spring for $ 499.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

09 Feb

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Sony announced a pair of short telephoto prime lenses at this year’s WPPI show in Las Vegas – the FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS and the FE 85mm F1.8, both intended for use on the company’s a7-series mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

Here’s the FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS, which joins Sony’s growing ‘G Master’ lineup, as one of the company’s flagship lenses. 

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

The 100mm F2.8 has a complex optical design, featuring 14 elements in 10 groups, including ED and aspherical elements. Somewhat unusually, this lens is a ‘Smooth Trans Focus’ (STF) design, which incorporates an APD (apodization) element. The APD element acts as a radial gradient filter, which – in simple terms – improves the quality of out of focus areas, by diffusing bokeh circles. Traditionally, we’ve seen APD elements in lenses specifically aimed at portraiture, for obvious reasons.

Unlike the Minolta-designed 135mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF lens that Sony still offers for A-mount cameras, the 100mm F2.8 STF is an autofocus lens.

A ‘macro’ switch enables the lens to be focused down to 0.57 meters (a little under 2 feet), and built-in stabilization should enhance its usefulness when hand-held.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Eleven aperture blades means an almost perfectly circular aperture even when the 100mm F2.8 is stopped down. This isn’t the sole determinant of bokeh quality but it goes towards ensuring out-of-focus highlights remain circular.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

The FE 100mm F2.8 features a ‘manual’ aperture ring. It’s not mechanically linked, and offers an ‘A’ position to transfer aperture control to the camera body. The ring can operate either as a conventional ‘clicked’ dial with third-stop detents, or ‘declicked’ for smooth, stepless operation. For video work, ‘declicking’ allows for much more practical brightness adjustment during shooting. 

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Like all of Sony’s G Master lenses, the 100mm F2.8 is built to a very high standard, and features dust and moisture sealing. A rubber grommet runs around the circumference of the lens-mount, to help maintain the seal between camera and lens. Despite the complex optical construction and high standard of build, the lens is relatively lightweight, weighing in at 700 g (1.54 lb).

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Much lighter though, is the new FE 85mm F1.8, a budget short telephoto prime aimed at enthusiast Sony FE shooters who don’t need (or can’t quite justify) the GM 85mm F1.4. This affordable prime weighs in at 371 g (0.82 lb).

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

The optical design of the FE 85mm F1.8 is much simpler in comparison with the 100mm F2.8, comprising 9 elements in 8 groups. The button above the AF/MF switch can be customized and assigned together with functions in the camera body. On most bodies it’s a focus hold control by default, but you could for instance assign it to EyeAF.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Sony makes life easy for camera journalists by writing some key spec directly onto the lenses. Here, we can see that the filter ring is 67mm and minimum focus distance is 0.8m (2.6ft). Compared to the 100mm F2.8 this isn’t great (it’s pretty standard for a short tele prime) but it’s fine for mid-length portraiture, of the kind that lenses of this type are ideally suited to.

In contrast to the more expensive Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8, the Sony isn’t stabilized. However, unlike the similarly unstabilized 85mm F1.8s from Canon and Nikon, the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 can be used with the second-generation a7 series cameras, which offer in-body stabilization.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Despite its lower cost and lack of ‘GM’ designation, the FE 85mm F1.8 is also dust and moisture sealed, although we don’t know whether the amount of sealing is equivalent to Sony’s high-end lenses. Like the FE 100mm F2.8, the 85mm features a rubber grommet around its mount, to help keep dirt and moisture out of the lens throat. 

Both lenses are expected to ship in March. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS will cost $ 1500, while the FE 85mm F1.8 will sell for around $ 600.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony announces 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

07 Feb

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Sony has taken the wraps off of two full-frame new mid-telephoto prime lenses. The company is making big claims about bokeh produced by the FE 100mm F2.8 STF OSS GM, which it says is improved by the use of an apodization (APD) element. The optical design is said to minimize vignetting, and the lens offers an 11-blade aperture. A macro switching ring engages the lens’ close focus capabilities for shooting subjects as near as 0.57m/1.87ft (0.25x magnification). The lens includes Sony’s built-in optical stabilization, and like other G Master lenses, it’s dust- and weather-resistant.

100mm F2.8 GM MTF chart via Sony. Lens configuration via Sony.

Also new is the non-G-Master FE 85mm F1.8, a relatively compact and lightweight portrait prime for the E-mount system. It uses a 9-blade circular aperture, ‘double linear motor system,’ and is also dust- and moisture-resistant. The lens does not offer built-in stabilization.

85mm MTF chart via Sony. Lens configuration via Sony.

Both lenses are expected to ship in March. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS will cost $ 1500, while the FE 85mm F1.8 will sell for $ 600.

Press Release

Sony Introduces 100mm F2.8 STF G Master™ with Highest Ever Quality Bokeh for an ? Lens

New Full-frame 85mm F1.8 Mid-telephoto prime lens and Compact Radio-Controlled Flash announced as well

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 7, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced two new lenses for their popular line of E-mount interchangeable lens cameras.

Sony’s new lenses include one of their flagship G Master Series – an FE 100mm F2.81 STF GM OSS mid- telephoto prime lens (model SEL100F28GM) built to deliver breathtaking bokeh with a unique STF™ (Smooth Trans Focus) design, and a new compact, lightweight FE 85mm F1.8 mid-telephoto prime lens (model SEL85F18) that is a welcome addition to the bag of any hobbyist or enthusiast photographer looking to create amazing portraits.

They have also introduced a new powerful, compact flash (model HVL-F45RM) with radio-controlled wireless communication that is ideal for professional shooting with Sony’s lineup of ?7 full-frame cameras.

FE 100mm F2.81 STF GM OSS Telephoto Prime Lens

A specially designed mid-telephoto, full-frame prime lens, the new 100mm STF is built to produce truly unique, magnificent and beautiful bokeh while maintaining the exceptional standard of resolution that is showcased by Sony’s entire line of flagship G Master series lenses, making it a powerful photographic tool for any portrait, fashion, nature or wedding photographer.

These impressive defocus capabilities are made possible by the lens’ advanced optical structure, as it features a newly designed 11-bladed aperture and a unique optical apodization lens element. Similar to a neutral density filter that increases in density towards the edges, the apodization element creates beautiful transitions of in-focus to out-of-focus areas within an image, making for exceptionally soft, smooth bokeh that adds depth and dimensionality. This allows the subjects to stand out against beautifully defocused elements in both the foreground and background, producing an image that is naturally pleasing to the eye. The design of the lens also ensures that vignetting is kept to an absolute minimum, ensuring optimum image quality.

Additionally, the new 100mm lens supports both contrast AF and focal-plane phase detection AF2, and has a high-precision, quiet direct drive SSM (Super Sonic Motor) system that ensures exceptionally fast and accurate AF performance. The SEL100F28GM also offers up to 0.25x close-up capabilities with a built-in macro switching ring, built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, a customizable focus hold button, AF/MF switch, aperture ring and more. It is dust and moisture resistant as well3.

FE 85mm F1.8 Telephoto Prime Lens

The new 85mm F1.8 mid-telephoto prime lens offers an extremely versatile, lightweight and compact telephoto prime lens solution for a variety of Sony camera owners ranging from working professionals to emerging enthusiasts that have stepped up to full-frame or APS-C cameras for the first time. With its wide F1.8 aperture, it can produce impressive, exceptionally sharp portraits with soft background defocus that take advantage of its 85mm focal length and wide F1.8 maximum aperture.

The new prime lens features a 9-bladed circular aperture mechanism that ensures smooth, natural looking bokeh, and a double linear motor system to allow for fast, precise and quiet focusing. It also has a focus hold button that can be customized and assigned together with functions in the camera body like the popular Eye AF feature. There is a smooth, responsive focus ring and AF/MF switch as well, and the lens is also dust and moisture resistant 3.

New Compact Radio-controlled Flash

Sony’s new HVL-F45RM flash enhances the radio-controlled lighting system capabilities of their growing system, offering a compact professional shooting solution when combined with the currently available wireless remote controller FA-WRC1M and receiver FA-WRR1.

The new flash, which is designed to complement the compact bodies of Sony’s E-mount camera lineup including full-frame ?7 models, produces a maximum lighting output as expansive as GN45 4. This ensures sufficient illumination even when shooting with bounce lighting or high-speed-sync (HSS) flash. The radio capabilities of the HVL-F45RM allow it to be used as a transmitter or a receiver at up to 30m (approx. 98 feet5), making it an ideal fit for creative lighting with multiple flashes. Additionally, unlike optical flash systems, radio-control flashes do not require a direct line-of-sight between components to function properly, while also minimizing any impact that bright sunlight has on signal transmission and control.

The HVL-F45RM flash has an impressive battery life of up to 210 bursts, and can tilt up to 150o vertically, a complete 360o horizontally and up to 8o downward to maximize versatility. Usability has been maximized with a new large, bright and highly visible LCD display, an LED light, dust and moisture resistant design3 and a revamped menu system that mimics those of Sony’s newest camera systems.

Pricing and Availability

Both of the new lenses and the new flash unit will ship to authorized dealers throughout North America.

The new FE 100mm F2.8 STF OSS GM Telephoto Prime Lens will ship this March for about $ 1,500 US and $ 2,050 CA.

The new FE 85mm F1.8 Mid-Telephoto Prime Lens will ship this March for about $ 600 US and $ 800 CA.

Replacement lens hoods for each of the new models will also be available for purchase as well.

The new HVL-F45RM flash will ship this May for about $ 400 US and $ 550 CA.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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