Sigma’s Art line is about to get even better. Photos of four new Sigma lenses have leaked ahead of the CP+ trade show on Thursday: one Contemporary series lens, and three Art lenses that we have a feeling photographers will be tripping over themselves to buy.
The photos in question appeared first on Nokishita, giving us our first glimpse at the long-awaited Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art lens and three more after that: a 14mm f/1.8 Art, 135mm f/1.8 Art, and a 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 Contemporary lens.
Unfortunately, the leak does not include any specifications or release date info, but Nokishita got their hands on multiple official product photos of each lens, making it likely we’ll see all four announced officially at CP+ later this week. Scroll down to see the unreleased lenses for yourself (bib optional):
Rumors of the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/1.8 Art lenses have been swirling for years, and it’s nice to know these long-awaited lenses will soon come to fruition. But even the 14mm f/1.8, which only recently hit the rumor mill, will probably be met with cheers… particularly from the astrophotographers in the audience.
Keep an eye on PetaPixel and we’ll let you know as soon as any of these lenses and the other goodies set to be released at CP+ are officially announced.
No glass? No problem! At least that’s Hitachi’s goal. The Japanese company has announced development of a lensless camera that uses moire fringing and math instead of a lens to capture images. What’s more, those images can be focused after you take the shot.
Lensless/flat cameras are not a new idea—a FlatCam is being developed at Rice University as I type this—but Hitachi’s version is unique. For one thing, this camera can be focused after the fact; for another, the company is planning to commercialize this tech as early as 2018.
So, how does this lens-less camera work? Like this:
The secret is a “film imprinted with a concentric-circle pattern” that is laid directly on top of the image sensor. The pattern casts a shadow onto the sensor during image capture, which is then compared to a second, similar pattern that is superimposed onto the image during processing.
The difference between those two creates Moiré fringes that can be analyzed to determine the incident angle of light. From there, the camera uses math, specifically a Fourier transform (this has been done before), to capture a final image.
If its sounds complicated, that’s probably because it is. But it’s also potentially revolutionary.
The Hitachi camera’s design is special because it does double duty. Not only can it capture images without using a bulky lens, it can also capture depth information and focus that image after the fact.
Essentially, it’s just capturing the angle and pattern of the light coming into the sensor, so you can change what’s in focus after the fact by superimposing a different pattern on top of the captured shadow during processing.
For now, the tech is still being developed, but potential uses named range from robots, to self-driving cars, to smartphone cameras. Hitachi will be presenting their work at the International Workshop on Image Sensors and Imaging Systems in Tokyo this week. To learn more about this exciting tech, check out the official press release by clicking here.
Questions on the subject of lens choice are as limitless as lens choice itself. Show me 10 photographers and I’ll show you at least 11 divergent opinions on which lens is right for a particular type of photograph. On my sets and amongst the assistants, digital techs, and creatives I work with, a great deal of testing, experimenting, and spirited discussion goes on with respect to lens choice.
I almost never use autofocus lenses, preferring to explore the stripped down optical simplicity of manual focus lenses. There is a visceral connection I enjoy when I have a manual focus lens in my hand I don’t get with the fidgety automated chaos of an autofocus lens.
When it comes to which lenses are best for portrait photography, the short answer is that there is no such thing as a “best” lens for portrait photography or for any photography for that matter. A portrait is a subjective glimpse into a person’s soul. There is no one size fits all solution for which lens is best for a portrait.
The best lens is the one that works best to capture the essence of a particular subject. It’s up to each photographer to discover which lenses works to tell his or her story. That’s the philosophical side of the question.
In the meantime, life must go on, and in order to make photographs, we as photographers must make choices creatively and technically about the equipment we use to bring our creative visions to life.
Following is a list of my favorite 5 lenses currently on rotation in my kit. I use these lenses for everything—portraits, as well as landscapes, and technical composites of groups and other scenes.
Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux M ASPH II
This lens is tack sharp all the way through the entire aperture range, and wide open at 1.4 it has a 3-dimensional quality I can’t explain, but which I love. This lens is superb for any application. I use it on every shoot, especially for portraits with a more environmentally wide angle feel.
Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens
50mm is a focal length often considered to be boring, but Leica has achieved something sublime with this 50mm lens. It has a magical, imitable quality no other lens I’ve ever used can duplicate. Without fail, I cover every set-up I shoot with this lens because I love it so much.
Leica Telephoto 75mm f/2.0 APO Summicron M Aspherical Manual Focus Lens
Perhaps the most obvious “portrait” focal length in my kit, this lens just has a beautiful quality that can only be described as cinematic. I won’t say more, other than it’s a must-have in any portrait photographer’s kit
Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T* ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount
This lens is available in Canon or Nikon mount. I shoot Nikon, so I’m partial to the Nikon mount.
Zeiss uses the same vintage of glass in the Otus series lenses as they do in their world class cinema Mater Primes. With the 85mm Otus I get beautiful natural skin tones, and otherworldly out-of-focus background textures.
For a medium long lens, it’s hard to beat and I use it on every shoot with my Nikon D810. I’ve been able to eliminate medium format with this combination.
Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount
135mm is my favorite long focal length. Zeiss have achieved something special with this particular lens. It’s razor sharp, renders beautiful natural skin tones, and has the most beautiful out of focus background texture. Indispensable.
To me, lenses are like guitars. Each one has a particular look in the way that a guitar has a particular sound.
To that end, I don’t have just one lens that is perfect for all applications, I have a stable of lenses I rely on to help me capture the look and feel I’m after on a particular project. And as time goes by and my tastes change and evolve, so too do my lens choices.
I’ve found as I’ve matured that I’ve gravitated towards precision, quality, and simplicity in the lenses I use, and these 5 lenses are by far my staples.
About the author: Kurt Iswarienko is a Malibu, CA-based celebrity portrait and commercial photographer. To see more of his work, check out his website or give him a follow on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.
This video needs very little introduction beyond the headline except to say that yes, it is exactly as cool as it sounds.
For their latest and fastest (or slowest) video yet, YouTube’s famous Slow Mo Guys decided to capture glass (actually, Pyrex) shattering at an incredible 343.9Kfps—that’s over 13,000 times slower than the human eye can see. They start at 28,546fps at 720p, and go from there… and if you think the first shot is impressive just you wait until the end of the video.
To give you an idea of just how slow things get, the total amount of time they captured 343.9Kfps was just 5.1 seconds, and that turned into a whopping 19.5 hours of footage!
All of the footage was captured with a Vision Research Phantom V2511, a camera that, when it was released in 2014, started at a price tag of $150,000. I guess that’s what it takes to capture insane footage like this.
Of course, as frame rate increases resolution suffers. By the time they get to 343,915fps the quality is down to 256 x 144. Still… wow.
Watch the video for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.
My name is Justin Tierney, and I’m a time-lapse photographer based in Japan. The opening section of my latest time-lapse project features nocturnal Japanese cityscapes. All the shots were captured from high hotel windows or observation towers around Tokyo. In this short article I share how I was able to create these shots without unwanted window reflections.
Dim the Lights
When shooting from a hotel room or anywhere you have control of the environment, do everything you can to minimize the interior light. When shooting at night, make use of any shades or blinds in the room. Pull them over your camera to help block stray ambient light. Avoid this in daylight as the curtains or blinds will actually create reflections.
When shooting from an observation tower, try to find a dark spot in the room and see if there are elements of the architecture (pillars, support beams, etc.) you can use to block light.
Get the lens as close to the window as possible. To accomplish this, I use a long (200cm) quick-release Arca Swiss tripod plate to allow easy adjustment. I usually try not to touch the lens to glass as the movement and vibrations of the building can bump the camera.
Use a Lens Skirt
The Lens Skirt is the best solution I’ve found so far. As long as I don’t shoot at an extreme angle, it cuts out reflections completely. It also folds flat for easy storage and carrying.
I wish the lens skirt was larger at times — particularly when shooting at 16mm or wider. The problem of size is compounded when shooting with the camera at a severe angle. This can be remedied somewhat by affixing gaffers tape to the edges of the skirt to extend its reach and seal its seams.
Many photographers report success with using a polarizing filter to remove reflections. For me, it’s hit or miss. A polarizer seems to help reduce reflections but not eliminate them. This can make matters worse. If you don’t have the luxury of shooting with an external monitor, it can be hard to tell if a reflection is present or not. The reflections may appear to vanish on the tiny camera LCD screen, but later, to your dismay, a computer monitor may reveal otherwise.
Another issue with polarizing filters is that you have to buy and carry one for each lens. You can buy a series of step-up and step-down rings, but since the filter is not the best solution, I avoid it all together.
Try a Rubber Lens Hood
I’ve tried one of these but was not convinced of its value. It works well when the camera is straight. But I frequently tilt the camera down or to the side to create the composition I want, and this makes the lens hood less effective at blocking reflections. And, similar to a polarizer, you have to buy and carry a hood for each lens which is not ideal.
Suction Cup Tripod
The Fat Gecko suction cup tripod and the Lens skirt is my go-to combo for time-lapsing through glass. It’s easy to transport. And, when used with the long QR plate mentioned above, easy to setup. It has the added attributes of stealth and speed. In some situations a tripod is too conspicuous. With practice I was able to rapidly mount it all kinds of places–from glass elevators, taxi side windows, monorail windshields and hotel lobbies without calling attention to myself.
These next photos show how I used my favorite combination of a suction cup tripod with a Lens Skirt to shoot through glass without reflections from my hotel window, the Kobe Portliner Monorail, and the Yurikamome transit:
Here are two time-lapse stills from At the Conflux, both shot through the windshield of automated monorails. The Kobe Port Liner during the day and Tokyo’s Yurikamome. Settings: f/8, 0.6’, 20mm, and f/2.8, 1.6’, 16mm, respectively:
If you have tips of your own for shooting through glass, please share them in the comments below. Check out my latest project, At The Conflux on my channels on Vimeo, YouTube and follow me on Instagram or Facebook for my latest time-lapse clips.
About the author: Justin Tierney is a time-lapse film maker and classically trained composer of concert and film music.His music was declared “superb, robust, and grand” by the Boston Globe who stated that that “Tierney’s dark-hued music had polished, ominous richness… and sound-worlds that were cogent and immediate.” His most recent project, At The Conflux, combines time-lapse images and original music into a film exploring the rhythm of Japanese cityscapes. Tierney holds degrees from Yale, Tufts, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Duke University.
Shenyang-based camera lens manufacturer Zhongyi is taking to Facebook to give a sneak peek of its latest creation, a Mitakon 25mm f/0.95 pancake lens for Micro 4/3 cameras. The new lens will be one of the fastest lenses available for the system: matched only by Voigtlander’s Nokton series of f/0.95 lenses. The Mitakon looks to have the edge with a more affordable product in a much smaller package.
The 25mm f/0.95 prototype is styled as a pancake lens. Zhongyi managed to cram eleven lens elements into a small form factor. The company boasts that optical quality will surpass that of the current Voigtlander Nokton competition.
Early word is that the price tag will be $500, quite attractive for a lens this small and fast. If Zhongyi can deliver on its optical promises, then this piece of glass may soon be found in the bags of many a Micro 4/3 shooter.
Here are some sample photos captured with the lens
The Zhongyi 25mm f/0.95 pancake lens will be available only in black when it is released. Due to the crop factor of Micro 4/3 cameras, the Zhongyi will possess a 35mm equivalent focal length of 50mm. At this current time, a definitive release date has not yet been announced.