Showing posts from 2012

DxOMark test score for Sigma 35mm f1.4 released

DxOMark has published their test results on the new Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM. Tested on the Canon EOS 5D MK III for the time being (with more camera bodies to be tested) DxOMark concludes the new Sigma outperforms the Carl Zeiss 35mm f1.4 and Canon's own aging 35mm 1.4L. Data on the new Nikkor 35mm f1.4 AFS will likely follow when the Nikon mount version of the Sigma becomes available.

To read the review please follow the link here.

Nikon D600 kit special at B&H this weekend

B&H Photo are selling the D600 complete with the 24-85VR for just $1,996.95 for this weekend only (it must be some kind of over stock). The deal includes an Oben monopod, 32GB Sandisk SDHC card, Lowepro Rezo 170AW and off-brand spare battery.Please click here to buy (note this site receives a small commission on sales, but at no additional cost to you).

Fuji X-Pro1 lens offer

Fuji UK has announced an enticing offer on the X-Pro1, if you buy one with a lens, you will receive either a 18mm or 35mm for free. Terms and conditions apply of course* (the offer runs through to the end of December 2012), please see here for details. *If you're a UK or ROI resident, the only online dealer supporting this promotion is Amazon UK.

Canon EOS 6D available this weekend in UK

Canon UK have just announced this morning that the eagerly awaited full-frame EOS 6D will be available at retailers this weekend.

Two kit versions will also be available:
EOS 6D + EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM £2,519.99
EOS 6D + EF 40mm STM £1,959.99

The cameras will be available through Jessops, and Wex. Amazon are not listing it at the time of posting.

Cyber-Monday deals at Adorama


Nikon D5200 announced, no new DX lenses

Nikon UK invited journalists to see the 24-megapixel D5200 yesterday in London but despite it being a well-balanced DSLR spec-wise (it includes the AF system from the D7000) it's no D300s replacement and nor were there signs of any new DX lenses. My guess is we will see a D7000 replacement that will also appeal to those looking to upgrade from the D300s (i.e. it will have a metal outer shell, 8fps or thereabouts and adopt the same 24MP sensor . What AF system it will have is anyone's guess). But for now the D5200 isn't it.
The body only price is £720, Eur 900 (and probably a lot cheaper in the US). It will be available during September.
Press release:

Sony Alpha A99 shipping at WEX

One of the most eagerly anticipated cameras of the year (and there have been many) is started to ship in the UK. WEX (Warehouse Express) has the bodies in stock at £2299 (inc VAT). Please click here to buy.

Nikon announces lightweight 70-200mm f4 with 5-stop VR

Announced today at £1,172 (inc VAT at 20%) the new 850 g (30.0 oz) Nikon 70-200mm f/4 sounds attractive*. Not only is it light (relatively) the optical performance sounds equally promising; it has 20 elements in total three ED and one HRI (High Refractive Index) element to reduce field curvature and spherical aberration. Nikon also claim the new VR module is the equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed five stops faster. According to Nikon UK, the new lens will start shipping at the end of November.
* the current 70-200mm f/2.8 weighs 1,540 g (3.4 lb.), while the Canon 70-200f4L IS weighs 760g (26.8 oz)
Readers can pre-order from B&H Photo (click here) for $1,399. Please note, the image above shows the tripod ring, which is an $224 optional extra.

Press release:

Nikon announces Nikon 1 V2

After some speculation, and shunning the original body design (which I liked save for the controls) Nikon has announced the Nikon 1 V2. Notice the new layout and control dials on the top plate. While not pretty (there is little real Nikon DNA in this*), the new model features a 1-inch type 14.2 resolution sensor, ISO 160-6400, an EVF and 15fps bursts. It sounds promising but it remains to be seen if it can equal or outperform the superb 1-inch type sensor in the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 compact.

The Nikon 1 V2 10-30mm Kit will retail at £799.99 / Eur 999.00. Sales start 31st January 2013.

*Like the Coolpix cameras the Nikon V1 models are sub-contracted (even if the factory says 'Nikon' on the gate). Press release:

Reuters Picture Agency rolls out The Wider Image app for iPad

Reuters picture agency has introduced an intriguing new app for the iPad that not only is updated daily with new pictures and stories from around the world but it's the only one of its kind I know that can organized to display the images and stories by photographer. It includes a bio of each and you can follow them on their assignments as they file their photos throughout the week. The app is free to download (click here to download from the App Store).Fore more information please visit The Wider Imagesite.

Nikon D4 in stock at B&H Photo

The Nikon D4 has been back-ordered for ages but is now in stock at B&H Photo at $5,996.95, please click here to buy.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II in stock at Jessops

UK retailer Jessops has the new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II in stock at £2,299 (inc VAT at 20-percent) (click here to buy). It's considerably more expensive than the previous version which although has its detractors, I personally think has an outstanding drawing style which I prefer to rival offerings. Canon says the new lens "vastly outperforms that of the previous model". It remains to be seen just how good a performer optically this new lens is, with real world use, but the MTF charts look encouraging at both ends of the range. There's no fluorite glass used unfortunately, although it has a new configuration using UD and super UD glass in its construction. Another significant reason for the hike in the price is due to the improved reliability and durability. According to Canon, it has been designed to handle tougher use and to maintain the image quality over a longer lifespan than the previous iteration. Digital photographers take many more images, and so a lens has t…

Canon announces EOS-1D X firmware update allowing AF at f8

After a number of internet rumblings and with Nikon already offering the capability with the Nikon D4, the AF capability of the EOS-1 D X has been expanded to include lens combinations with an effective maximum aperture of f/8. Previously, it was limited to f/5.6 presumably due to accuracy concerns. The new capability is especially good news for those using the 600mm f/4 with Canon 2x converters (such as the current Extender EF 2.0x III) , before the announcement of the new firmware (v1.1.1) the 600mm f/4 could only be used with the 1.4x converter. Now all that's needed is another update to alllow the use of the 800mm f/5.6 with the 2x converter (they have an effective maximum aperture of f/11). Press release:
Performance redefined - Canon enables auto focus at f/8 for the EOS-1D X with new Firmware 1.1.1
United Kingdom, Republic Of Ireland, 18th October 2012 - Canon today announces a new firmware update for its acclaimed EOS-1D X professional digital SLR is now available, offering …

Gitzo Ocean Systematic Tripods available

As an architecture and interior photographer (as well as a lens and camera reviewer) a tripod is an essential item and I'm always looking for the ideal model. I like Gitzo tripods but having just one isn't really an option; they're not versatile enough to cover the multitude of likely situations encountered. Like lenses you really need to have several (see here for an article about how to select the most appropriate Gitzo), so I was pleasantly surprised to See Gitzo introduce an Ocean version of the new Systematic models. These are a vast improvement on the originals and the Ocean version using steel instead of mag-alloy and improved leg joint seals promises to be their most rugged yet. I like the 4-series best, they have substantially larger leg tubes than the 3-series, while offering more load carrying capability without having the bulk and weight of the larger diameter tubing of the 5-series. I hope to have one of the new models soon for testing.

Nikon D600 in stock at Jessops

The D600 must be the quickest to market of any camera from Nikon that I can recall (and I can remember way back to when they launched the FM then FE back in the late 70's). I didn't get chance to see this at launch but it's significantly smaller than the D800 and packing the same resolution sensor as last years top-of-the-range D3X the D600 is the first full-frame model to resemble the film cameras in size. I think this will be the 'game changer' for the company rather than the D800 (as good as that camera is, the file size is really only going to appeal to enthusiasts and professionals).The body is available from Jessops at £1734.95 inc VAT (not as cheap as the US can buy them, but then we've always been at a disadvantage). The vertical grip (MB-D14) can be bought for £249 (please click here for the Jessops link).

Hasselblad announce Lunar mirrorless model

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Photokina this year, and happened upon the Hasselblad stand. Having already reported briefly on H5D I thought I would take a quick look at it but the main interest on the stand was the previously rumored mirrorless 'Lunar' camera mock-ups. They were generally poor quality, though there must have been close to a dozen on show. The camera is being hotly debated for being not only "ugly'", but for being based on a Sony NEX-7, and with a grossly inflated price of 5,000 Euros. I can confirm that is all of those things, but what interested me particularly was the Carl Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Distagon on the front of the model above.

Nikon keep promise on Nikon D600 delivery

Nikon don't have the best track record when it comes to delivery times, but it seems they've kept to their word with the new 24-megapixel D600. Amazon UK have it in stock at £1,886 (click here), body only (and there are some listed as low as £1,600, though I don't know the retailers' reputation) . I'll try update this with other retailers throughout the day.Adorama in the US have stock at $2,096.95, with free shipping (click here).

NEC announce 23- and 27-inch SpectraView displays

NEC Display Solutions, the professional imaging display maker, has added two new models to its wide-gamut SpectraView (SV) monitor range that already includes two 23-inch models, the SV 231 and SV 232. The new SpectraView models differ to the European Multi-Sync models by including full hardware calibration, for more consistent color reproduction, while apparently not offering the zero-pixel defect warranty of the SpectraView Reference series, nor the hood (though that can be purchased separately), putting the range more inline with the US SpectraView models (albeit without the bundled NEC-branded X-Rite sourced calibrator).
Pricing has yet to be confirmed by the firm, although it should be between the two existing ranges. The two new models will be available from September 2012. Press Release:

Schneider Kreuznach announces four lenses for full-frame DSLRs

At the Photokina today Schneider Kreuznach has announced four new full-frame lenses for Canon EOS, Nikon-F, Sony Alpha and Pentax-K cameras. The lenses include a 85 mm/2.4 Makro-Symmar, 28 mm/4.5 Super-Angulon Aspheric Tilt/Shift* (note the built-in Arca Swiss tripod foot), 35 mm/1.4 Xenon and 50 mm/1.4 Xenon (the last two lenses are not shown). Pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed by the firm.*This lens can tilt and shift in the same plane, like the latest Canon TSE lenses (though they're totally manula mechanical - there are no electronic contacts - used to close the iris unfortunately). It will be interesting to see if this can match the Canon 24mm TSE in terms of optical quality - it's a massive lens compared to the Canon though (which is already sizeable). Slightly off topic, I also noticed the new Leica TS-APO-ELMAR-S 120mm f/5.6 ASPH (above) for the Leica S appears to be made for them by Schneider. Press ReleaseBAD KREUZNACH, 17 September 2012Schneider-Kre…

Jessops taking pre-orders on Canon EOS 6D

Canon's latest entry-level full-frame 20MP EOS 6D featuring built-in GPS and Wi-Fi announced earlier this morning* is available to pre-order at Jessops at £1,799.99 (including VAT).
*For more information please visit,

Nikon make long rumored 24mp D600 official

Product Highlights

• 24.3MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
• EXPEED 3 Processor
• 3.2" LCD Monitor
• 1080p HD Video Capture
• 100-6400 ISO - Expandable to 50-25600
• 5.5 fps Continuous Shooting
• 39 Wide-Area AF Focus Points
• Stereo Mic & Headphone Inputs
• i-TTL Flash
• Wi-Fi Connectivity with Optional Adapter

Pre order options

B&H Photo

Nikon D800 body only $2,099.95 (expected availability 19th September)

Option to save $100 on purchase of 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G

Sony make A99, RX1, NEX-6 official, announce development of Zeiss 1,4/50mm ZA SSM

As widely leaked over the internet in the run up to the official product announcement, Sony has duly announced the 24-megapixel full-frame A99 and RX1 as well as the 16-megapixel NEX-6 models, but, interestingly, the firm has announced the development of a Zeiss 1,4/50mm ZA SSM. Details are scant but the new lens adopts ultrasonic focusing (SSM) and a 72mm filter thread. According to the press release, the new 50mm will be available in the Spring of 2013. Pre order options and contactB&H Photo (New York)Sony A99 body $2,798 (available on or after 11th Feb, 2013)Sony RX1 $2,798NEX-6 body $848For more information, please visit

Hasselblad make new H5D and 4.8/24mm official

Hasselblad has announced the new H5D with a number of new features and enhancements, including the largest and brightest viewfinder currently, a print ready JPEG mode (not seen before on a Hasselblad), new compressed Raw format, True Focus II (for improved AF accuracy), weatherproofing, optional battery adapter for standalone operation of the camera back and several ergonomic improvements. Although the firm has yet to confirm the digital back options it is expected that all the current sensor resolutions will be offered with the H5D. There are no indications of the prices at the time of the announcement, though the new models are expected to be available in December.

Also announced is a new HCD 4.8/24mm, the equivalent to a 17mm (on a 35mm format camera ) and offers similar performance to the HCD 28mm, the firm claim.

For more information please visit Hasselblad.

Profoto B4 1000 Air officially announced

Profoto has announced the new Pro 4 battery pack with flash durations down to 1/25,000 sec, fast recycling (30 flashes per second) and an 11-stop range. The B4 can be connected to the mains and used as a studio generator, although the battery can be fully charged within 45 minutes, the firm claim. Backlit controls are a welcome addition as is the LED panel for each head which can show flash duration as an option. Price and availability has not yet been confirmed. For more information please visit Profoto.

Sony NEX-6, RX1 and A99 images surface UPDATED

Images have surfaced on the net of an alleged full frame (35mm) compact, the RX1 featuring a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 2/35 with manual aperture ring and a $3000 ticket. Although the camera is sure to appeal (to wealthy enthusiasts), it lacks an EVF* and doesn't appear to have interchangeable lenses. Be that as it may this is an interesting development and hopefully an indication of things to come. The same site also has images of the NEX-6 and full-frame video-orientated A99. I'm not going to speculate on the individual camera's specification, the anticipated launch date is the 12th September so you will know soon enough.*It could be an option given the unusual design of the hotshoe. (Update a source revealed it has both an EVF and OVF as options). NEX-6 APS-C No SteadyShot Inside (there's room in the mount for a full-frame sensor, but Sony don't want do add it just yet.) Sony's full-frame camera comes of age, the A99. With a 24-megapixel sensor, Sony don't want…

Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 officially announced

After the Compact Prime version was announced at the recent NAB show (not reported on here) I expected yesterday's announcement to be this lens, however it wasn't and now today we have the official announcement of the Apo Sonnar T* 2/135. The lens will begin shipping in December 2012 at a recommended retail price of approximately Euro 1.600 or US$2.000 (excluding VAT). The price is competitive for Zeiss, consider the Distagon 2.8/15mm or Makro-plannar 2/100, for instance, and the $5,700 price for the equivalent CP lens (on which it's based although there are several reasons why the price is more than double). No pre-orders yet, but keep checking here for information. It is interesting to speculate whether Zeiss will add the 70-200mm f/2.8 as a ZE/ZF.2, my feeling is that we will.
If you're in the process of switching systems (from Canon) or simpy want to use the lenses with your DSLR and mirrorless camera, then consider buying the ZF.2 version with its manual and mec…

Carl Zeiss to announce new lenses at Photokina

Carl Zeiss are to announce a new high-performance Distagon T* (not Planar) type 1,4/55 manual focus lens (above) , "this lens is the first model of a new product family designed for demanding users. Thanks to a newly developed optical design, this lens is superior to conventional full-frame lenses, and it achieves with powerful full-frame, full-format cameras an image performance that until now has only been seen with medium-format systems. The first prototype of this new range will celebrate its world debut at photokina. The family of lenses is expected to be on the market in the second half of 2013 for EF bayonet (ZE) and F bayonet (ZF.2)."The new lens type is reminiscent of an AF design (note the lack of a distance scale and new rubber focusing ring) but Zeiss has stated the new lens will be manual focus and is sure to be the first in a new range of ultra high performance lenses (the current range is already high performance). The Distagon design is unusual in this focal …

Leica S2 discontinued, new model to be announced shortly?

Adorama are listing the Leica S2 as 'no longer available', presumably as the replacement Leica S3 is being readied for for Photokina later this month (18th-23rd September).

Fuji officially announce the X-E1

As expected, Fuji has officially announced the X-E1, packing the same 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS as the original X-Pro1 but in a smaller lighter body. There's no hybrid viewfinder - no real loss in my opinion* - it has instead a new 2.36million dot OLED which Fuji describe as 'top-class'. The camera is launched with the new fast kit lens (not a budget offering) 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 image stabilized zoom and 14mm f/2.8. This is the camera Olympus should of launched in my opinion, although I do rate the OM-D E-M5 (and its sensor) very highly, particularly for discrete use and visual note-taking. X-Pro1 sales will plummet in light of this (the X-E1 is smaller, lighter, cheaper, has a more detailed EVF and uses the same sensor), so what will the X-Pro2 bring other than a higher resolution sensor (I expect to see 24-megapixels in the next iteration)? The X-E1 looks like a serious contender to the Sony NEX-5 /7 offerings and Olympus OMD E-M5, that is providing Fuji has improved the…

Hoya introduce new UV & IR Cut filter

Glass maker Hoya has announced a new range of UV & IR cut filters, offering a front filter thread for stacking which the firm says is not 'found in a combination UV-IR filter', presumably they mean a rival make*. The firm continues to add, 'another benefit to using the UV-IR filter is that it can also reduce the effects of atmospheric haze to a greater degree than would be found with a standard UV filter. This means that sharper images with more depth and finer, richer color gradations are possible when utilizing the filter's effects in your photography. This combination filter is a convenient option for those who seek a clearer and sharper image when captured outdoors, while getting the benefits of two filters in one.'FeaturesBlocks UV Rays below 390nm
Blocks Infra-Red (IR) Rays above 700mn
Transmits only light in the visible spectrum
Helps generate higher quality images with clearer and sharper definition The range is available now, starting at £85 for the 49mm.…

Entry level Fuji X-E1 to complement X-Pro1?

Images have surfaced on the net of what purports to be a new model to complement the Fuji X-Pro1. The new model, apparently called the X-E1 lacks the hybrid viewfinder of the original but appears to retain an EVF. That makes sense as the hybrid optical viewfinder will be somewhat restricted with some lenses (ultra wide and long focal length lenses). The EVF on the other hand will be able to cover these while reducing the camera's complexity (and cost, let's hope). I like the look of this, the clean lines of the body are a big improvement over the X-Pro-1 but I'm not hopeful Fuji will have improved the layout of the rear controls or the menu, but you never know. Source Digicame-info. Also available in chrome, and shown with the image stabilised 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom. The two openings by the hotshoe are almost certainly that of a stereo mic, and it also appears to have a pop-up flash. Related Posts Fuji X-Pro1 review