July 30th, 2012 , Comments Off
Doug Brown and Arash Hazeghi are two of the most skilled bird photographers with a special focus on birds in flight.
They both recently published reviews of the new Canon EF 4/600L IS II which looks like the best lens for bird photography Canon has ever made. Incredibly sharp and with a weight of only ca. 3.9kg – which is about 27% lighter than the old version about about the weight of my Canon EF 4/500L IS (the new EF 4/500L IS II is about 3.2 kg).
Too see there reviews click on the following two links:
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II field review by Arash Hazeghi
The New Canon 600mm f/4 II Has Arrived!!! by Doug Brown
February 26th, 2010 , Comments Off
A new article about choosing the right lens for bird photography is now available:
Choosing a lens for bird photography.
This replaces an older article published earlier on this page.
If you are interested in bird photography but don’t know which lens to choose, read the article!
February 11th, 2010 , Comments Off
I just published a new article:
Choosing a lens for macro and close-up photography. This replaces an older article published earlier on this page.
Macro and close-up photography is a fascinating way to spend time with your camera. Subjects and be found everywhere, especially outdoors, but many also like shooting close-ups with arranged subjects in the studio.
For close-up photography, you don’t need a 6.000 $ lens nor do you have to travel to exotic places to find something to photograph. A meadow, a small piece of forest or even your garden will probably have enough subjects to photograph to fill a whole day.
Beginning macro photographers often are not sure what lens to buy. This new articles explain in detail what lenses are available for shooting close-up and macro images and will help you make your own choice.
February 9th, 2010 , Comments Off
Nikon has announced the new 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR wide angle zoom lens. It is the first ultra wide angle zoom lens with image stabilisation.
This new lens is great news for landscape and travel photographers. The f4 aperture make the lens a lot lighter than a possible lens with f2.8. Some might prefer 2.8 to shoot under low light situations but with the incredible high ISO performance of cameras like the Nikon D700 or D3s, f4 will be more than enough. Of course, an f4 lens is also cheaper than a f2.8 lens.
If this new lens is as good as the amazing Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S then Nikon has another winner here.
Beside this wide angle zoom lens, Nikon also announced a new AF-S Nikkor 24mm F/1.4G ED, which has an extremely wide aperture for a 24mm lens.
More information (Press information by Nikon UK):
Press information about the AF-S NIKKOR 16-35MM F/4G ED VR
Presse information about the AF-S NIKKOR 24MM F/1.4G ED
February 1st, 2010 , Comments Off
The Tokina AT-X DX 2.8/11-16 is a popular lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Now, Tokina has announced that the lens will also be available for Sony Alpha DSLR cameras with a crop sensor – the lens does not work with full frame cameras like the A900 and A850.
On a cropped Sony DSLR, the lens gives an equivalent focal zoom range from 16.5 up to 24mm.
With f2.8, the lens can be used in low light situations.
So far, the announcement from Tokina is only available in Japanese:
Press release in Japanese
Google Translation of Japanese press release
August 3rd, 2009 , Comments Off
Recently, Leica has announced the prices for the new S-System. The S-System is a new camera system from Leica with a new sensor which is bigger than current full frame sensors in cameras like the Nikon D3x or Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The sensor has a size of 30×45 mm and 37.5 megapixels. The new camera, called S2, will have Autofocus – something Leica never introduced into it’s legendary R-System.
The new System will require completely new lenses as the lenses for the R system won’t fit on the bigger lens mount of the S2.
For the start of the systen, the following four lenses will be available from Leica (more lenses will probably follow soon):
Now the new S-System will be available soon. The question is: Will this be a success? Leica had it’s problems in recent years, probably because they misjudged the almost complete takeover of digital photography.
The move to a larger sensor and a completely new system has surprised many but is also considered the right direction for professional photography by many photographers.
There is no doubt that the new lenses will be extremely good and will deliver outstanding sharpness. I am sure at least some photographers have already ordered the system and can’t wait to take the first pictures with the S2 and a new Leica lens.
But to be a success, Leica must sell more cameras and lenses than just a few. The development of the whole system took quite some time and therefore, was probably pretty expensive.
I really hope that Leica will be successful with the new system. I won’t get one for myself, but I have always liked Leica products – I own a great pair of Leica binoculars.
But there are several reasons, why this might not be successful. Please keep in mind that this is must my personal opinion. Let’s look at the different reasons:
Probably the biggest obstacle for most photographers. At a price of more than 20.000 US dollars for the camera body alone, only professionals and maybe some amateurs who always wanted to have a Leica will think about getting this one. If you get all the four new lenses, you will have to pay more than 40.000 dollars!!!
In the current economic situation, most professional photographers will think at least twice before spending that much amount of money on a new camera system. For a lot less money, you can get a complete full frame camera system from Nikon or Canon which produces amazing quality. Even some medium format cameras are cheaper than the new Leica S-System.
Competition with the current full frame cameras from Nikon and Canon
For about 1/3 of the price you can get a Nikon D3X which already delivers 24.6 MP and Nikon has recently produced some awesome lenses full frame cameras. The difference between the 24.6 MP of the D3X and the 37.5 of the S2 is not as big as it might look it is.
Nobody doubts that the new Leica lenses will be outstanding. Leica has always produced excellent lenses which where often the best on the market.
At the moment, only 4 lenses will be offered. More will follow, probably soon. But right now, 4 lenses is not much. With the current lenses, the S-System is mostly suitable for studio photography and landscape work which are probably the primary targets for the S-System. There are no really long telephoto lenses or macro lenses yet. And today, people want zoom lenses. Hopefully Leica will soon offer more lenses, otherwise the whole system will not be very interesting for most photographers.
It will be interesting to see how the sensor in the S2 performs. The current sensors in high resolution full frame cameras like the Nikon D3X or the Canon EOS 5D Mark II are of very high quality.
The sensor in the S2 must match the quality of sensors in those cameras and not just at ISO 100 but also at higher ISO values. The D3X and EOS 5D Mark II are good at high ISO settings like ISO 800 or even above. If the S2 sensor is significantly worse than the Nikon or Canon cameras, many photographers will probably prefer a Nikon or Canon camera.
Future models by Canon or Nikon
Canon and Nikon make the most money with entry-level and mid range cameras like the Nikon D90 or D300(s).
But for the professional market, they may decide to develop new cameras with larger sensors as big as the sensor in the S2 or even bigger. In a few years, a 45 MP sensor twice the size than the current sensor in a D3X may be available for only a few thousand dollars and even amateur photographers might think about getting such a camera. The reason why we have not yet seen such cameras from Nikon or Canon is the fact, that the current lenses won’t fit on such a camera. Nikon and Canon would need to build a whole new line-up of lenses for the new cameras. And this would mean a significant investment many photographers won’t be willing to make.
But I am sure Canon and Nikon are at least thinking about such a move. And they have the knowledge and probably the financial resources to do it. And then they may be much faster than Leica building such a system. Canon and Nikon probably could build a complete lens line-up much faster than Leica. And they could reuse much of current camera technology. It shouldn’t be to difficult to take the body of a Nikon D3 or a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and put a larger sensor in it. And stuff like flashes probably could be used with the current cameras and the one with the larger sensor as well.
Just imagine Nikon would offer a similar camera like the S2 but with all the power of the D3(X), including the great AF system and all the other great features. They could probably make it available a lot cheaper than Leica.
And Nikon and Canon are also capable of building high quality lenses. I think that if Canon or Nikon (or both) decide to build a system similar to the S-System from Leica and if they aggressively advertise for it, Leica won’t have much chance against them.
As I already wrote, this is just my personal opinion. I recently had the chance to hold a prototype S2 in my hand. I feels great and I really wanted to take it, together with the new lenses, and try it out for a few days but that was, of course, not possibly.
I wish Leica good luck with the new system but only time will tell if it will be successful or not.
July 22nd, 2009 , Comments Off
Canon has announced a new image stabilization (IS) system that can correct both angular camera shake and shift camera shake. The new system will be built into an upcoming lens that will be released before the end of 2009.
Click here to read the full press release from Canon.
July 20th, 2009 , Comments Off
Today I came across a very interesting video about the amazing Nikon 4/200-400 VR lens by famous wildlife photographer Moose Peterson.
Moose explains why he loves the lens so much and how best to use it either hand hold or on a tripod. He also explains how to use the VR in different situations.
If you are a Nikon shooter and just bought this lens or think about buying one, make sure to watch this video.
If you shoot with Canon (as I do) go to your phone and call Canon and tell them you want a Canon EF 4/200-400L IS!!!
Also check out the other videos Moose Peterson has on this website which are very interesting and cover different subjects like other lenses, cleaning your gear or how to get sharp images.
July 10th, 2009 , Comments Off
According to this link from wired.com the entire Nikon 2009/ 2010 DSLR Product Roadmap has leaked.
For me this sounds more like a wish list of a Nikon shooter but Nikon has put out a lot of great stuff during the last three years so maybe at least some of this may actually be true. I hope it is although I shoot Canon and have no plan to switch (just way too expensive). But new great stuff from Nikon will put even more pressure on Canon to produce great cameras. So far, in my opinion, Canon still doesn’t have a real competitor to the awesome Nikon D300 (the EOS 40D and 50D are no match for the D300 in many ways, for example AF).
What I didn’t find in the list is a really powerful telephoto zoom like a 4/200-500 VR or a 5.6/200-600 VR. I am sure many wildlife and sports photographers would love such a lens.
Canon will probably also announce new cameras soon. At least a successor to the EOS 1D Mark III should be out soon.
September 16th, 2008 , Comments Off
After the introduction of a 50 and 85 mm lens for Canon, about which I wrote yesterday, Zeiss has introduced another lens for Canon (and also Nikon and Pentax) today.
The lens is called the Distagon T* 2,8/21 and works on both analog and digital SLR cameras.
I am not sure if those new Zeiss lenses will find many buyers. If I were a Nikon shooter, I would prefer the wonderful Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S. This lens is extremely sharp and the zoom is much more versatile.
Canon’s wide angle zooms – though not perfect – are very good lenses, too. And they have AF and are from Canon itself.
Many photographers today prefer zoom lenses.
If Zeiss came up with a very sharp 4/16-35 that outperforms the (very good) Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, I might consider buying it.
See this review at luminous landscape for an interesting comparison of the and Zeiss Distagon 18mm f/3.5 and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S.