Posts Tagged ‘Lenses’

Aurora Aperture launches 16-stop ND filter and rear filters for Canon’s super-wide lenses

28 Apr

US filter brand Aurora Aperture has announced a neutral density filter that it claims reduces exposure by 16 stops. The company has launched a new family of fixed factor ND filters called PowerND and is offering strengths of 6, 12 and 16 stops in screw-in and square formats.

The ND64, ND4000 and ND65000 filters will be available for threads of 37-95mm as well as a special 105mm version that will fit an adapter for the Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm F2.8G ED wide-angle zoom. Those preferring a filter system will be able to use the 100 x 100mm square filters. The 16-stop filter is designed for those wanting to make long exposures in daylight conditions and can knock a 1/1000sec shutter speed situation down to 1 minute.

Aurora Aperture has also introduces a series called Aurora CR with filters designed to fit over the rear mount of Canon super-wide lenses. The arch-window-shaped Gorilla Glass filters slide into a holder that screws on to the rear of the lens, and while aimed at users of the Canon EF 11-24mm F4 L USM the system will work with a range of the company’s wide-angle zoom lenses.

The filters are available via Kickstarter with delivery and general sales due to begin in August. Prices start from $ 34 for small screw-in filters of any of the strengths, to $ 117 for the 150mm circular filter. The CR kit including the holder and three filters is $ 165. For more information see the Aurora Aperture website and the company’s Kickstarter page.

Press release

Aurora Aperture Introduces PowerND Family and an Industry First Rear Mount Glass Filter for Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM

Aurora Aperture Inc., a Southern California startup, today has introduced the PowerND family of high quality fixed neutral density (ND) filters.

The PowerND family consists of three ratings of light reduction capability: ND64 (6 stops),ND4000 (12 stops), and ND65000 (16 stops). Four different formats are available: circular filters from 37mm to 95mm, 100 x 100mm square filters compatible with popular square filter adapters, 150mm circular filters with an adapter for the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens, and the Aurora CR format, an industry first, a rear mount glass filter for the Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM lens.

The 6 stop filter is typically used in low light conditions such as during sunrise or sunset for sub-second shutter speed. The 12 stop filter can slow down shutter speed to minutes in dusk and dawn conditions. The 16 stop filter can do magic on a bright day, allowing photographers to expose up to several minutes or more.

The ND4000 and ND65000 have distinct advantages in having more stops than the typical ND1000 or ND32000. They allow users to avoid diffraction softening by enabling users to avoid very small aperture settings or alternatively allowing for longer exposures. In the case of the PowerND 4000 that means two more stops than the typical ND1000 and for the Power ND65000 there’s one additional stop.

“We introduced a variable ND family last year and it was embraced by photographers and videographers worldwide,” said Jinfu Chen, founder and CEO of Aurora Aperture Inc. “the fixed ND family we introduce today is much more powerful in terms of light reduction capability and offers even better optical performance, along with more formats for different camera lenses.”

A small rear mount filter using Gorilla® Glass for the Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM is an industry first. Prior to this users would have to use extremely large filters with diameters up to 186mm with a bulky front lens shade adapter. The Aurora CR format filter mounts in the rear of the lens, making it much easier to carry and lower in cost. Other Canon lenses that Aurora CR format filter can be used in* are the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye, EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 14mm f/2.8L US, EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM.

Designed in California by Aurora Aperture, the Aurora PowerND filters employ up to 128 layers of double sided nano coating** in order to achieve color accuracy and powerful light reduction capability. Hydrophobic and oleophobic coating is applied to filter surface with PFPE coating. The end result is that water droplet on the filter surface can maintain a static contact angle of 110 degrees, one of the best in the industry.

Availability and Pricing
The Aurora PowerND family will be available through Kickstarter starting in April 2017 and to dealers and direct orders in August 2017. List price starts at US$ 42 and varies depending on filter format and size.
* As of April 21, 2017
** ND4000 and ND65000

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Sigma announces 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 Cine Prime lenses

21 Apr
Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2

Just in time for NAB, Sigma has announced an expansion to its Cine Prime line of lenses, adding the Cine High Speed 14mm T2 and Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2.

The Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2 lenses are designed for use with full frame cameras, and join five existing prime lenses in Sigma’s Cine Prime product line. With the addition of these lenses, Sigma now offers cine prime lenses covering a very useful focal length range of 14mm to 135mm.

As with the other lenses in the set, both new lenses are available PL-mount, EF-mount, and E-mount.

Sigma Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2

In addition to the lenses, Sigma is now offering customers the option to order their cine lenses in metric or imperial measurements, as well as standard or full luminous paint markings. Sigma says that existing customers can swap from one measurement system to another for a fee.

Finally, Sigma is now offering its mount conversion services for owners of its cine lenses, allowing users to switch lenses between EF- and E-mounts.

We’re planning to get some hands-on time with these lenses next week at NAB next week and will share our experience with you.

Press release:

NAB 2017: Sigma Unveils Two New Cine Prime Lenses; Adds New Product Options?

Sigma introduces brand new Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 Prime Lenses

April 20, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced its brand new Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 prime lenses and new Cine Prime and Zoom product options.

Sigma is expanding its Cine Prime line to include two brand new lenses: the Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and the Sigma Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2. The high-performance Sigma Cine Prime product line, which now includes the following focal lengths and apertures – 14mm T2, 20mm T1.5, 24mm T1.5, 35mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5, 85mm T1.5 and 135mm T2 – is compatible with the latest full-frame camera sensor technology. Compact in design, the Cine Prime line offers outstanding optical performance and is ready for higher resolution shooting (up to 6K-8K). Both the 14mm T2 and 135mm T2, along with the previously announced Sigma Cine Prime and Zoom lenses, will be available for test-shooting at the Sigma NAB booth C11525.

In addition to this expansion of its Cine Lens Prime line, Sigma is now offering customers the option to order Cine lenses in metric or imperial measurements as well as standard or full luminous paint on markings. Existing customers who wish to swap from one measurement system to the other can do so for a paid fee.

Also, Sigma is now offering its sought-after Mount Conversion Services for the Cine lens customers. The highly successful program ensures continued return on investment for customers, allowing them to convert their lenses to and from EF and E mounts.

You can read the full Sigma announcement including tech specs here as well as download the new Sigma Cine 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 product images here.

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Fujifilm releases GF 23mm and 110mm lenses, updates roadmap

19 Apr

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Fujifilm has released a pair of G-mount lenses for its GFX 50S medium format camera, an adapter for using legacy Fujifilm large format lenses and information about future GF lenses.

The GF 23mm F4 R LM WR, equivalent to 18mm when mounted on the GFX 50S, has a linear focus motor, a nine-blade circular aperture, ED, super ED and aspherical elements, and a Nano GI coating. It’s also weather-resistant and functions down to -10°C/+14°F. It’ll ship in late June for $ 2599.

Also coming in June is the GF 110mm F2 R LM WR, which also has a nine-blade aperture, weather-sealing, and a linear motor. It has three ED and one super ED elements and is equivalent to 87mm when mounted on the GFX 50S. It will be priced at $ 2799.

Fujifilm also released a roadmap for future medium format lenses. Coming later this year is a 45mm F2.8 R WR (equivalent to 36mm), followed by a telephoto prime and teleconverter.

Lastly, the company will soon be offering the ‘View Camera Adapter G,’ which allows you to use the GFX 50S with 4×5 format view cameras. The adapter allows the GFX 50S to be used on a standard Graflok-style mount camera, enabling the use of large format Fujinon lenses, such as the CM series.

Press Release


FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR and GF23mmF4 R LM WR Lenses expand the GFX user experience; updated GF lens roadmap announced and new GFX firmware coming soon

Valhalla, N.Y., April 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces two new GF lenses for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera system, the GF110mmF2 R LM WR (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format) and the GF23mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format). A new GF lens roadmap is released today, along with plans for a new FUJIFILM GFX 50S firmware update this spring.

FUJINON Lenses Guarantee Image Perfection

As part of the GFX system, Fujifilm is launching newly developed, ultra-high resolution FUJINON GF lenses. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has a short flange back distance of just 26.7mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting and achieves edge-to-edge sharpness. All FUJINON GF lenses have been designed to support sensors of over 100MP.

New Lenses Deliver Image Excellence

The FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR is a medium telephoto lens perfect for portraits. With a focal length equivalent to 87mm in the 35mm format, it achieves a brightness of F2.0 when used wide open to deliver stunning bokeh.

The FUJINON GF23mmF4 R LM WR has a focal length equivalent to 18mm in the 35mm format and is expertly suited for landscape and architectural photography. Despite the super-wide angle of view, distortion is kept to a minimum, and with the high-resolution performance extending all the way to the edges, sharp depiction as if looking at an actual landscape is achieved.

Both new lenses feature fast and quiet autofocus (AF) by using a linear motor, are dust and weather resistant, and are capable of operating in environments as cold as 14°F / -10°C. The lenses combine high performance and reliability for professionals looking for the ultimate in photography tools.

Current Lens Lineup

  1. GF63mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format)
  2. GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 25-51mm in 35mm format)
  3. GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR (equivalent to 95mm in 35mm format)

Coming Later in 2017

  1. GF45mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)

FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR Key Features

  • FUJIFILM G Mount is compatible with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S
  • Weather-resistant design capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C
  • 14 elements in 9 groups, including 4 ED lens elements
  • Super ED lens and three ED lenses for suppressed chromatic aberration and high resolution performance all the way to the edges
  • 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh

FUJINON GF23mmF4 R LM WR Key Features

  • FUJIFILM G Mount is compatible with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S
  • Weather-resistant design capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C
  • 12 groups and 15 elements construction using two aspherical lenses, one super ED lens, and three ED lenses
  • 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh
  • Nano GI coating suppresses ghosting and flare

The GFX 50S and FUJINON GF lenses culminate to create a new camera system capable of creating the world’s highest level of photographic expressions by combining the thorough incorporation of knowledge regarding camera operation, optical design, image capture, and image processing.

New FUJINON GF Lens Development Roadmap

Fujifilm has publicly announced six lenses for the G Mount lens lineup this year. After the release of the GFX 50S and three G Mount lenses, Fujifilm is now unveiling a new roadmap with the additions of a telephoto prime lens and tele converter, in order to expand products covering telephoto ranges, an area with many requests from users.

With the addition of the two new lenses, the G Mount system lineup has been expanded to a total of eight lenses, achieving a fulfilling lineup to correspond to a wide range of user needs.

Also coming in June 2017 is a new View Camera Adapter G that can be used when shooting with the GFX 50S when using previous FUJINON large format camera lenses, such as the CM FUJINON. The adapter is mounted in the film camera loading position of the view camera which adopts the film format of the 4×5 size.

New Firmware Update Planned

Fujifilm will release a free firmware update for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S later this spring, adding new functionality and improving operability. New functions include computer tethering via Wi-Fi and improved operability in exposure compensation and autofocus performance in difficult scenes.

Availability and Pricing

The GF110mmF2 R LM WR will be available in Late June, 2017 for USD $ 2,799.95 and CAD $ 3,599.99 and the GF23mmF4 R LM WR will be available in Late June, 2017 for USD $ 2,599.95 and CAD $ 3,399.99.

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S Medium Format Camera Body is available now in the U.S. and Canada for USD $ 6,499.95 and CAD $ 8,499.99.

Fujifilm GF 23mm F4 R LM WR / 110mm F2 R LM WR specifications

  Fujifilm GF 23mm F4 R LM WR Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R LM WR
Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 645
Focal length 23 mm 110 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Fujifilm G
Maximum aperture F4 F2
Minimum aperture F32 F22
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Rounded blades
Elements 15 14
Groups 12 9
Special elements / coatings 2 aspherical, 3 extra-low dispersion, 1 super ED 4 extra-low dispersion elements
Minimum focus 0.38 m (14.96) 0.90 m (35.43)
Maximum magnification 0.09× 0.16×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Linear Motor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Weight 845 g (1.86 lb) 1010 g (2.23 lb)
Diameter 90 mm (3.54) 94 mm (3.7)
Length 103 mm (4.06) 126 mm (4.96)
Sealing Yes
Filter thread 82.0 mm 77.0 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar No

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Leica offers free fix for faulty AF in some S lenses

08 Apr

Leica has finally announced that it has found a reliable replacement for the defective focus drive units in some of the S lenses from its medium-format system. The faulty units created complete AF failure in affected lenses and it has taken the company some time to find a permanent solution.

In what Leica describes as an act of ‘goodwill’ users with lenses that have already stopped working can have the AF drive units replaced for free, as can anyone whose unit fails up to five years from the date of purchase. Those whose drive units are still functioning can also have theirs replaced but for a charge of around $ 400 according to Red Dot Forum. That fee includes an extra year of product warranty for all lenses, no matter how old.

The free replacement service has been on offer since the end of 2015 but until now the company was replacing broken units with the same kind of drive motor. This new announcement relates to a new drive unit that is said to be more reliable.

Press release

Official Release from Leica AG

In some cases, a defect may appear in the autofocus drive unit of Leica S-Lenses. Under certain unfavorable conditions, this may lead to a complete loss of the autofocus function.

We are pleased to inform you that we have successfully completed the development and stringent quality assurance testing of a new generation of autofocus drive units under practical conditions.

Leica Camera AG is prepared to offer a free replacement of the autofocus drive unit of S-Lenses affected by this problem within the terms of a goodwill arrangement.

In light of this, we would like to remind our customers that we can offer free replacement of the autofocus drive unit only for S-Lenses affected by this concrete defect. The goodwill arrangement will remain valid for a period of five years from the date of purchase of the respective S-Lens.

Preventive replacement of the autofocus drive unit (including a warranty extension of 12 months) may be requested at your own expense.

Should the defect described above occur in one of your S-Lenses, we recommend that you send it directly to Leica’s Customer Care or the authorized Customer Care department of your country’s Leica subsidiary.

Contact: or Telephone: +49 (0)6441 2080 189.

We consider it our obligation to provide only technically faultless products. We therefore particularly regret that the functions of one of your S-Lenses could have been be impaired by this defect. We hope that the goodwill arrangement we are offering will allow us to resolve this issue as soon as possible and rebuild and maintain the trust you have always placed in the Leica brand and its products.

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Meyer-Optik announces move into high-end lenses for mirrorless cameras with Primagon 24

07 Apr

German lens manufacturer Meyer-Optik-Gorlitz has announced it is to produce a new premium 24mm lens that will come in mounts for all mirrorless camera systems. The Primagon 24 will feature a maximum aperture of F2.8 and will use seven elements including one aspheric. The company says that although the lens uses the Primagon name, it isn’t a recreation of a vintage model, but is a completely new design.

Meyer goes to some length to emphasize that the lens will be made in Germany from German-constructed parts and glass. It is said to be the first in a new series aimed at compact system users that will incorporate popular focal lengths and which aims at ‘best in class’ optical performance.

The information released by the company makes no mention of autofocus, so we should assume this will be another manual lens like the brand’s other optics. Meyer says it will allow 30 photographers the chance to buy the lens at half price before general production begins so they can give feedback to the lens designers so it can be improved or altered before it goes on general sale. We’d guess that those 30 will also receive a full-production model once they become available. To qualify for this opportunity, you need to already be a backer of the company’s Kickstarter campaign for the Trioplan 35+ lens, announced earlier.

The Primagon 24 is expected to be ready at the beginning of 2018, and will retail for approximately €4.999/$ 5,499 . For more information visit the Meyer-Optik-Gorlitz website.

Press release

Meyer-Optik Takes Quantum Leap with New High-End Primagon 24mm

Lens Maker Seeking Photographers to ‘Test’ Lens

With its latest Kickstarter campaign for the historic Trioplan 35+ successfully underway, Meyer-Optik is moving boldly into the world of high-end, high-performance photography with the newest addition to its lineup of hand-crafted lenses. Today, Meyer-Optik announced the new Primagon 24 mm f 2.8, which will have 7 individual lenses, including one aspheric lens. It will have an 84 degree angle of view and will impress with its image quality, compact size and weight of less than 9 ounces (about 250g). It will be available for practically all mirrorless cameras.

Even though the Primagon takes its name from a famous line of historic Meyer-Optik lenses, the new Primagon 24 is a totally new development. With this lens, the young Meyer-Optik brand strives for the highest image quality achievable, sticking to its guiding principles and guarantees that practically all mechanical and optical parts are made in Germany and the lenses will also be hand assembled as individual pieces of craftsmanship in Germany. With the help of world famous development engineers, the Meyer-Optik team has been working on the Primagon 24 for more than a year. The team is also working on several more lenses for this new series to cover the full range of the most needed and popular focal lengths. These lenses are all developed under the premise that they will provide the best in class high-performance tools for the ambitious photographer.

Even though photographers will have to wait until early 2018 to get a look at this lens, as one of the rewards for backing its Kickstarter for the Trioplan 35+, Meyer-Optik is allowing 30 photographers to receive the Primagon 24 for about half of its expected retail cost. The photographers will get a chance to use the lens months before it heads into serial production, allowing them to give Meyer-Optik feedback that the company could use to make final refinements. The “testing” promotion is a unique way to reward a select group of Kickstarter backers, while giving the company a chance to receive some feedback on how the lens performs in the “real world.”

“Even though the new lenses are already high performers, we want to listen and learn from the feedback of our users,” said Dr. Stefan Immes, founder of the revived Meyer-Optik brand.

“The opinion of the Kickstarter community and the direct feedback is very important to us. We are striving for technical perfection with this lens – but we will not make any compromises when it comes to the creative part of photography. Personality and character are the most important features of all our lenses. This starts right at the beginning of the development process and we are proud that some of the best engineers nationally and internationally are supporting our team in Goerlitz,” Immes said.

The new lens will be available at the beginning of 2018. It will be available for all mirrorless mounts. The suggested retail price will be 4.999,–€/5,499 US $ .

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Primes Versus Zoom Lenses: Which Lens to Use and Why?

06 Apr

Which type of lens is better, a prime lens or a zoom lens? This is one of the most debatable topics in photography. Some of you might choose a zoom lens and others may choose a prime lens, it all depends on what and where you are going to shoot.

It is really important to know what each of the two types of lenses are, and which type should be used during a given situation. This article will help you in this area.

Primes versus zoom lenses

What is a Prime Lens?

A lens that has a fixed focal length is known as a prime lens. So if you want to change your view of the frame, you will have to go closer to, or farther away from the spot where you are standing. As the focal length is fixed, there is no zoom ring on the lens.

There is a wide range of prime lenses available on the market, ranging from wide-angle prime lenses (such as 14mm and 24mm lenses) to medium and long range telephoto prime lenses (such as 135mm and 400mm lenses).

Primes versus zooms Sigma 20mm

A Sigma 20mm prime lens.

What is a Zoom Lens?

A lens which has a variable range of focal lengths is known as a zoom. Using such a lens, you do not need to move from your spot, and adjusting the zoom ring allows you to get a wider or narrower angle of view. So by using a zoom lens, you can change the focal length in order to adjust the angle of view.

There is a broad range of zoom lenses available, be it a wide zoom lens (such as the 12-24mm or 16-35mm lenses), the telephoto zoom lens (such as a 70-200mm, 100-400mm, and 150-600mm lenses), or the multi-purpose zoom lens (such as the 18-300mm and 24-105mm lenses).

Primes versus zooms tamron 18 200mm

Tamron 18-200mm zoom lens.

Benefits of Using a Prime Lens

Wide Aperture at a Lower Cost

One of the biggest advantages of using a prime lens is that you get to use a wide aperture (small f-number) such as f/1.8 and f/1.4 at a reasonable cost. For example, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens (only $ 125) and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens ($ 1199 compared to the Nikon version at $ 1599 or the Canon one at $ 1899). Whereas, a zoom lens such as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L does not allow you to shoot wider than f/2.8, and that will burn a hole in your pocket (close to $ 2000).

Prime lens 1

Shallow Depth of Field

A prime lens allows you to use an aperture value as low as f/1.2 or f/1.4, thus providing a really shallow depth of field. Using such wide aperture opening, you can get more of a bokeh effect which means that your subject would be in focus and the background/foreground is blurry. Comparatively a zoom lens may only allow you to go a wide as f/5.6, f/4 or f/2.8, resulting in a wider depth of field as compared to a prime lens.

Therefore, if you are planning to get shallow depth of field (more bokeh effect) then using a prime lens would fulfill your requirements.

Primes Versus Zoom Lenses

Shot at f/1.4 using the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens.

Better Low Light Photography

As mentioned above, a prime lens can let you use an aperture value as low as f/1.2-1.8 which lets more light into the camera. While shooting in low light conditions using a prime lens you can use a faster shutter speed as it lets in 3-4 more stops of light (f/1.4 > f/2 > f/2.8 > f/4 > f/5.6 – a 50mm f/1.4 lets in 4-stops more than a standard f/5.6 kit lens) compared to a zoom lens.

So if your zoom lens at f/4 is giving you a shutter speed of 1/20th, using a prime lens at f/1.4 would allow you to use a shutter speed of 1/160th. If you are in a situation where the lighting is low and you do not have a tripod, using a prime lens would have an added benefit as it allows more light into the camera.

Primes Versus Zoom Lenses

Better Sharpness and Image Quality

There are fewer lens elements inside prime lenses, each placed to perform a specific role. This is the reason why a prime lens produces less optical flaws such as chromatic aberration and lens distortion, thus resulting in better image quality.

The number of lens elements in a zoom lens is more because it has to provide variable focal lengths, resulting in decent sharpness. However, even zoom lenses are getting better day by day in terms of image quality and sharpness to closer match the results captured by prime lenses.

Primes Versus Zoom Lenses:

Benefits of Using a Zoom Lens


One of the biggest advantages of using a zoom lens is that it allows you to change focal lengths without changing your lens. A zoom lens provides a range of variable focal lengths which can be adjusted using the zoom ring on the lens, the range depends on the lens model. To name a few zoom lenses, you can get 18-55mm, 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 100-400mm, and 18-300mm lenses. While using a zoom lens you can even go from a wide angle view to a telephoto view without even changing the lens.

So if your shoot requires you to switch between various focal lengths then it is better to use a zoom lens to save time and to avoid missing any important moments. In wedding photography, sports, and while traveling you should be using a zoom lens the most, because if you switch between multiple prime lenses then you might end up missing the moment.

Primes versus zooms - lens Range

This image shows the range of focal lengths the Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens provides.


A zoom lens such as the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 is basically five prime lenses in one as it covers some of the most commonly used focal lengths such as; 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, and 300mm. Imagine how easy and light it would be to carry a single lens in comparison to carrying five in your camera bag. Though the zoom lens would not allow you to use a wide aperture or give amazingly sharp images as a prime lens would, but it would surely help you pack light. Now it is all up to you, either choose the advantage of the portability of a zoom lens – or carry the extra weight if you are not willing to compromise on image quality.

If you are a frequent traveler who likes to pack light and can compromise a bit on the image quality and the ability to shoot a wide aperture, then a zoom lens is an ideal choice for you.

Primes versus zooms 2

All in all, a less expensive deal

As stated in an example above, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens is basically five in one (or even more). So now if you do the math, a $ 449 zoom lens can allow you to use any focal length ranging between 70mm and 300mm. Whereas, if you buy five or more prime lenses then you might end up spending over $ 4000.

A zoom lens would be ideal for you if you have just started in photography and want to explore different genres of photography. First invest in a decent zoom lens such as the 18-55mm, 18-300mm, 55-250mm lens or the 70-300mm lens. Then once you are sure about what genre of photography you want to go ahead with then you can buy your next lens accordingly.

Primes versus zoom lenses

Conclusion: A Prime Lens or a Zoom Lens?

There is no doubt that prime lenses are superior when it comes to sharpness and image quality. However, zoom lenses are improving constantly, but still not close enough perhaps. Though some premium zoom lenses such as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM produce images with brilliant sharpness and less optical aberration.

If you are looking for that beautiful bokeh effect which can only be achieved at wide aperture then you will have to go for a prime lens. It will allow you to choose aperture values such as f/1.2, f/1.4, or f/1.8. Similarly, to shooting in low light conditions a prime lens will give you the added advantage of using a faster shutter speed, thus resulting in sharp pictures.

Primes versus zooms 3

But if you are a frequent traveler or are not familiar with the location, then using a zoom lens will be a safer option as it is a versatile as well as a portable option. Even at weddings or while covering events you cannot rely on a prime lens as there are limitations of moving around the area, therefore using a zoom lens is a wiser choice.

Please share your thoughts on the prime versus zoom lens discussion below. Which lenses have you opted to use?

The post Primes Versus Zoom Lenses: Which Lens to Use and Why? by Kunal Malhotra appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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ExoLens Case for iPhone 7 supports Zeiss lenses while protecting phone

30 Mar

ExoLens has announced the launch of its new ExoLens Case for iPhone 7, a case designed to protect the phone while also supporting the company’s ExoLens PRO with Optics by Zeiss accessory lenses. The case is made from clear impact-resistant materials that, says the company, offer ‘high-end aesthetics’ while keeping a low profile. The case can be used with and without the Zeiss PRO lenses.

ExoLens PRO owners are able to switch between the line’s various lenses without removing the case, the latter of which is described as ‘ultra durable’ with soft Black TPU material along the outer edges. ExoLens has launched the case for the iPhone 7 ($ 49.95 USD) on its website and through select global retailers, and will launch a version for the iPhone 7 Plus model later on in 2017.

Via: ExoLens

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Mount your EOS lenses on the Fujifilm GFX with Cambo’s new adapters

25 Mar

Dutch accessory manufacturer Cambo has announced it is to produce an adapter to allow full-frame Canon EF lenses to work with the new Fujifilm GFX 50s medium-format camera. The CA-GFX sits between the camera body and the EOS lens and offers its own control dial for adjusting apertures. A small LCD displays the selected aperture but no EXIF data will be recorded by the camera.

Cambo says the adapter has been designed with the Canon T-SE tilt and shift lenses in mind as they have particularly wide covering circles which will fill the 43.8×32.9mm sensor of the GFX 50s. It isn’t clear whether other Canon lenses will cover the sensor to the same extent, but with some cropping of the edges of the frame most vignetting can be removed – with the loss of a certain number of pixels.

Earlier this month Cambo released a new ACTUS unit designed for the Fujifilm camera. The ACTUS-GFX is a bellows-and-non-rail unit that allows tilt, shift and swing movements in the front standards, as well as 27mm of vertical and 40mm of horizontal movement at the rear. The bellows unit accepts a range of medium and large format lenses via adapters. The ACTUS-GFX costs €2250 plus tax in Europe and $ 2795 in the US. No price has been released for the CA-GFX yet.

For more information see the Cambo website.

Press release

Cambo Lens Adapter for Fuji GFX50s

Cambo announces a new lens adapter to fit Canon lenses to the Fujifilm GFX50s.

The CA-GFX will be the third Canon lens adapter that Cambo have manufactured and marketed for camera movement. Having successfully adapted Canon lenses to the Cambo ACTUS (ACB-CA) and more recently the WIDE series camera (WRES-CA.) It was a natural transition to manufacture the adapter as it gives many photographers the option of using their existing lenses with the latest mirrorless, large sensor, Fujifilm GFX50s (CA-GFX.

Cambo CA-GFX Adapter
The CA-GFX adapter fits directly to the bayonet of the GFX camera body and the lens aperture is controlled electronically when dialling in the required f-stop. As there is no direct connection between lens and body, there is no data received; aperture, auto-focus or EXIF, from the lens.

Why make this lens adapter?
The Fujifilm GFX50s sensor measures 33x44mm and Canon lenses such as the 17mm T-SE and 24mm T-SE have very large image circles, they will cover the sensor size and will enable the photographer to apply movement.

Cambo CA-GFX Adapter
The CA-GFX (Product code: 99070301) is available from your local dealer.

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£10,000 of Sigma lenses up for grabs in Amateur Photographer of the Year competition

21 Mar

The UK’s Amateur Photographer magazine has launched its 2017 Amateur Photographer of the Year competition and is offering a total of £10,000 worth of Sigma lenses in prizes. 

The competition is run over the course of eight rounds with monthly closing dates from the end of April to the end of November. Each month has a different theme and winners are picked by the Amateur Photographer judging panel and through an online voting system run by Photocrowd. At the end of the year, an overall winner will be selected to win the top prize.

Anyone can enter, but AP points out that entrants who live outside the UK would need to pay any applicable import tax on their winnings.

Monthly prizes will amount to approximately £1000 of Sigma lenses, cameras and flash units each, while the final winner will take away £2000 worth of kit in the shape of Sigma’s 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art and the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, along with a Sigma USB Dock. Monthly winners of the Photocrowd vote get a year’s subscription to the magazine.

Weekly magazine Amateur Photographer has been running this competition for 26 years, but this is the first time entry has been allowed via an online system. For more information see the Amateur Photographer website and the competition’s Photocrowd page. Entry is free.

Monthly themes:

Magical monochrome – Black & White
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art (£749.99) + Sigma EF-610 Super Flashgun (£259.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,009.98

Hit the streets – Street Photography
SIGMA dp2 Quattro (£899.99) + VF-41 Viewfinder (£199.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,099.98

Small wonders – Macro
105mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro (£649.99) + SIGMA EM-140 DG Macro Flash (£379.99)
Total Prize Value: £1029.98

City clickers- Cityscapes / Architecture
SIGMA sd Quattro + 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art (£1049.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,049.99

Into the wild – Wildlife
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (£999.99) + Sigma USB Dock (£39.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,039.98

Creative eye – Abstract Art
SIGMA 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | Art (£949.99) + SIGMA 82mm WR CERAMIC PROTECTOR (£104.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,054.98

Land lovers – Landscapes
SIGMA dp0 Quattro (£899.99) + VF-51 / Viewfinder (£199.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,099.98

Face to face – Portraiture
SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM ART (£1,199.99)
Total Prize Value: £1,199.99

SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art (£1199.99) + SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art (799.99) + SIGMA USB Dock (£39.99)
Total Prize Value: £2,039.97

Overall Prize Value = £10,624.83

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Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

16 Mar

There’s a common maxim touted in photographic circles, especially in online forums and message boards. It states that some of the limitations of shooting with a prime lens can be overcome by simply moving your body around. The idea of “zoom with your feet” or SneakerZoom, as it’s sometimes called, is often used as a panacea for those who think prime lenses are limiting in terms of what they can do compared to their zooming counterparts.

To a certain extent this is true. If you want to get closer to your subject you can just physically move your body if you don’t have a zoom lens, but doing so results in images that are not at all the same as using a zoom lens. Zooming with your feet is somewhat of a misnomer because zooming implies a change of focal length. But when you move around with a prime lens you are not changing the focal length at all. Instead, you are recomposing with your feet. In this article I’ll explore why this is a simple but significant difference using a few examples below.

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

How lenses work

To understand how lenses work it’s important to know a few things. The focal length is a measurement of the distance between the optical center of the lens (the point at which incoming light converges) and the image sensor of the camera to which it is attached.

Many cameras come with what’s known as a kit lens. Most of those cover a relatively modest range of focal lengths, with the most common being about 18mm to roughly 55mm. At 18mm, the lens bends light in such a way that the incoming light converges on a point 18mm in front of the image sensor. This results in a field of view that is about 76 degrees wide. (Assuming you are shooting with a crop-sensor camera like a Canon Rebel or Nikon D3300. On a full-frame camera like a Canon 5D Mark IV or Nikon D810 it would be about 90 degrees.)

At 50mm, the angle of view changes to roughly 31 degrees. The practical implications for this are that you can simply fit more in the frame when shooting at a wider focal length versus a longer one. Take the example of photographing a tree, as you can see in the following illustration.

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

Angle of view versus moving your feet

Shooting at 18mm would allow the photographer in this example to fit the whole tree in the frame, but unfortunately this photographer is using a 50mm prime lens that does not zoom in and out. At this point, you might be thinking, “No problem, just walk backwards to get the whole tree in the frame”.  My good friend Bob Slydell from the movie Office Space would respond, “Just a second there, professor.” While it’s true the photographer could walk backwards and reposition himself such that he could fit the entire tree in the picture, there are two problems with this solution:

  1. There is a pond filled with crocodiles right behind him
  2. He would still have a 31 degree viewing angle

No matter how far backward, forward, or sideways the photographer in this example repositions himself, the angle of view with the 50mm lens will still be the same. Theoretically, he could construct a raft and float across the pond in order to fit the entire tree in the frame. But doing so would result in a dramatically different picture than if he just uses a wider lens to begin with. Zooming with his feet, or in this case with a boat, will work to get a picture of the tree, but doing so will alter the other compositional elements of the photo.

An example

To see how this works, here’s a revised version of the image above wherein the photographer has retreated far enough to get the entire tree in the frame. In this example, there are five pinwheels behind the tree that are well contained in the wide-angle shot. While moving backward has solved the issue of getting the tree in the frame, the narrow viewing angle means that not all the pinwheels fit in the shot.

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

The only way to solve this problem using a Zoom With Your Feet solution would be for the photographer to move way back such that the tree and all the pinwheels could fit in the frame. At which point the original subject (the tree) would be so diminished that the image wouldn’t be the same at all.

Real life examples

Of course, this is a theoretical example, but watch what happens when the same type of scenario is replicated in the real world. I shot the following three images using my 70-200mm lens. Watch what happens as the focal length, as well as the distance to the subject, changes.

Shot #1 – 70mm, from far away

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

70mm, f/4, ISO 100

Can you tell what the subject is in this picture? It’s supposed to be the artwork in the middle–a boy fishing with his dog, carved from the trunk of a fallen cypress tree. The angle of view in this picture is about 34 degrees (I shot this on my full-frame Nikon D750), which is enough to capture lots of scenery in the frame. Notice how in addition to the boy and his dog you can also see trees, a building, and even some foreground elements such as a pond and grass.

Shot #2 – 200mm, from far away

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

200mm, f/4, ISO 100

Standing in the exact same spot as before but zooming into 200mm has had a dramatic impact on the picture. Now the viewer’s attention is focused squarely on the carving, and the field of view is now limited to a much narrower 12 degrees. Note where the head of the carving is in relation to the building in this image: it is framed between two columns on the first floor above the ground, which is quite different from the next picture.

Shot #3 – 70mm, shot from close up

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

70mm, f/4, ISO 100

This final photograph was made by zooming with my feet, I repositioned myself to be much closer to the tree carving. The resulting image is similar, in that the carving itself is roughly the same size as in the 200mm shot, but the field of view is 34 degrees because I shot this at 70mm. Even though the subjects are similar in shot #2 and shot #3, the pictures are entirely different!

The wider field of view in shot #3 resulted in an image with a lot of background elements that distract the viewer. The boy’s head is now positioned near the top of the building, despite the fact that my camera was the same distance above the ground. While the classic SneakerZoom technique has certainly worked to get my subject looking how I wanted, the end result is quite different from actually using a proper zoom lens.

Zooming with your feet is NOT the same

These examples show that while you certainly can zoom with your feet, doing so is not the same at all as zooming with a telephoto lens. When you move around you are not really zooming but recomposing. While this is not a bad thing, it is something to be aware of when choosing lenses or honing your photography technique.

As another example of this phenomenon, here are two pictures from a recent session I did with a local family. I shot the first one with my 70-200mm lens. It’s a traditional portrait-style image with a blurred out background with the focus squarely on the faces and upper bodies of both women.

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

200mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

I then zoomed all the way out to 70mm in order to get a closer, more personal image of the two women. After changing to a 70mm focal length I had to walk much closer to the ladies, essentially zooming in with my feet, in order to get them to appear the right size in the frame. The resulting image feels entirely different, not just because they are sitting on the ground showing off their matching wrist tattoos, but because you can see that they are sitting in the middle of a green field strewn with autumn leaves.

70mm, f/4, ISO 100

Shooting at 200mm meant a highly compressed field of view with only a small slice of the trees and background visible. Whereas in the bottom picture you can once again see the effects of the wider viewing angle afforded by shooting at 70mm.

Different planes

One final example that’s necessary to illustrate this phenomenon, is when you and your subject are not on the same horizontal plane. In these situations, changing your focal length can bring you much closer to what you are trying to shoot, whereas walking around will significantly alter the scene, based on the foreground and background elements, as well as the angle from which you are viewing the subject.

Shot #1 – 70mm, from far away

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

70mm, f/4, ISO 100

This image looks decent, but I didn’t like how the flags shared the frame with the building behind them, especially the chimney in the corner with the radio antenna. Since I shot this at 70mm I had a couple options to improve the shot; including zooming into 200mm or zooming with my feet to get closer to the flags. I started with the first option and was very happy with the result.

Shot #2 – 200mm, from far away

Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet?

200mm, f/4, ISO 100

Zooming with my lens gave me a much better picture. One that focuses entirely on the flag pole with no distracting background elements and a nice cloudy sky to help the flag pop out of the frame. One tradeoff is that the Oklahoma flag is no longer visible. I could have zoomed in only partially to 135mm if I wanted to include it, but I decided that the picture would be more impactful if it just had a single subject instead of two flags. After getting this shot I zoomed in with my feet to see if I could get a decent picture at 70mm by moving much closer to the subject.

Shot #3 – 70mm, shot close up

Look at how different this final image is compared to the 200mm version! While I was able to get the United States flag much larger in the frame, I ended up shooting from such a low angle that the flag pole itself draws almost as much attention as the banners it is holding. The Oklahoma flag is also visible in this version, which has the unfortunate side effect of creating an image that is unfocused and busy. There are now two subjects in the frame (three if you count the pole.) This leaves the viewer with a sense that the image is cluttered and unfocused. Zooming with my feet did allow me to get closer to the subject, but it altered the composition so significantly that the resulting image is unusable.


Hopefully, these examples will help you start to visualize why moving around is not at all the same as changing your focal length. Please understand that I’m not saying you should sell all your prime lenses and rush out to buy a zoom lens, though. I use prime lenses all the time, and by far my most-used lens is the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 for its size, weight, and sheer versatility.

My goal is simply to help you understand that when you are shooting with a prime lens you need to know that moving closer to, or farther away from, your subject does not have the same effect as actually changing the focal length. Once you understand that, you can start using this knowledge to your advantage. You can structure your photo techniques around this important limitation of prime lenses, and hopefully, take much better pictures as a result.

The post Prime Lenses: Can you really zoom with your feet? by Simon Ringsmuth appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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