Zeiss Starts New Manual Focus, Manual Exposure Loxia Line

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Zeiss believes that the digital market has not lost its passion for manual glass and are announcing a new family of lenses – the Loxia. Those are manual-focus, manual-aperture lenses.

Te lens will come in two flavors, both with max aperture of f/2: a 50mm version and a 35mm version, and both are compatible with Sony e-mount. The list of features (that we’ll address shortly) suggests that Zeiss is targeting video shooters as well as high-end still photographers in the same lens.

Aside from the optical qualities, both lenses are winking at the video market with an interesting set of features:

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8 Reasons Why You Need A Prime Lens

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Life if full of all kinds of debates, both practical and philosophical. Chocolate or vanilla? Dogs or cats? Paper or plastic? Window or aisle? Jazz or blues? The list goes on. Most don’t really have a definitive answer, because life without choices can get pretty boring pretty fast. The Great Debates rage on, though, throughout the photography industry as well, covering everything from camera brands and strap style to memory cards and lenses. It’s the lens debate, though, that I find particularly interesting. I’m not talking about Canon vs. Nikon or Sigma vs. Tamron. I’m talking about Zooms vs. Primes.

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Don’t Have a Polarizer? This Tutorial Just Might Convince You to Get One

Did you know that that when you use a polarizer in a wet forest, the color come out more vibrant because of the water’s effect through the lens?

Up until today, the only two things I knew about polarizers were that they make things go black when you put two together, and that they’re a feature in my American Optical Pilot Aviators (insanely affordable for their quality). Photographer Steve Perry, however, is so passionate about the polarizer that he made a ten minute long video tutorial over it. And don’t let that throw you off; this video doesn’t waste time. He spends ten straight minutes teaching you about polarizers, and it’s one of the most informative little pieces I’ve seen for a while now.

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5 Reasons You Should Own At Least One Prime Lens

If you’ve just made the move from smartphone or point and shoot to a DSLR body, you should now be considering the lenses you use. You have gotten the kit lens along with the camera and wanting another lens for variety, or you are looking to improve the technical quality of your photos. Toby Gelston (aka CameraRec Toby) suggests that at least one of the lenses in your arsenal should be a prime lens.

Prime lenses are lenses with a single focal length (e.g. 50mm, 85mm and so on). While Toby lists 5 reasons for using a prime lens – Bokeh quality; get more light; quality; value for money & size – I think Toby is only scratching the surface with the reasons to go prime. Do you own a prime lens?

[5 Reasons you should own a prime lens via picture correctPetaPixel]

How To Win Any Photography Trivia Face Off With A Simple Question

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Have you ever sat down with a group of photographer and gotten into a trivia face off. You know those kinds of discussion where one would go “Oh yea? So what is the F-stop that comes after F/64?”* Or “So, what is hyperfocal distance?”** or “what’s the fastest sync speed on a D70?”***

Those can sometimes get quite frustrating. Especially if all participants are quite knowledgeable.

Before you learn how I lost that contest, see if you can identify what the following lenses have in common:

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Sigma 50 Art Lens Compared With The Canon 50mm F1.2L

s50a-50l-01Up until recently the question of getting an original branded lens (e.g. Canon, Nikon) vs a 3rd Party lens (e.g. Sigma, Tamron) was not really a question. If you could afford the original brand lens, the answer was, go for the original.

However, with Sigma’s recent ART lenses things may have changed. Photographer Will Chao took both the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens for a head to head battle and the results are not as conclusive anymore.

The photo at the top of the post and the photo below are an easy daylight test for the lenses. [Read more...]

Nikon’s New Fluorine Coated Lenses Make You Want To Kiss Them Wearing Lipstick

Nikon definitely knew what they were doing when they released this video on their Japanese channel. The video shows what happens to lenses when they are met with the elements. And by elements I mean oil, color, markers, mud, ink, permanent markers and just about any other fluid on earth.

The fluorine coating acts as repellant and just like Teflon nothing sticks to it. Some of the secret lies in the way the Fluorine coating interacts with liquids. While regular surfaces let fluids ‘rest’ on them, the Fluorine repels them and makes as little contact with the fluid as possible. Here is now Nikon explains it on their site: [Read more...]

See How The Canon 500mm F/4 L Lens Is Made

Canon’s 500mm F/4 L IS II Lens is a $10,499 behemoth. It is a second generation of the 500 f/4 L glass, following a v1 stabilized unit. Both are considered top of the line lenses.

It is amazing to see that part of the production process includes manually crashing optical glass by hand. Than on the other hand, after the glass has been ground and polish it is handled with care saved for diamonds.

If you want to cry, jump to 8:46 where you see an entire tray of the front element simply sitting on a cleaning table.

[How It's Made - Canon 500mm f/4 L Lens via Janoeliop]

P.S. unsurprisingly, Lee Filters are going through a similar process