Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sigma 60mm DN Lens for Sony NEX Cameras Announced

sony nex-7 sigma 60mm

Mockup of Sigma 60mm on NEX-7

Sigma is adding a third lens to their Digital Neo series for E-mount cameras. It is the 60mm f/2.8 macro in native E-mount. The lens is similar to the one found in Sigma's new DP3 Merrill.

Here is Sigma's description of the 60mm DN.
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN- Featuring the natural perspective of mid-range telephoto lenses, together with a shallow depth of field, this lens allows the photographer to capture a single part of a subject with great bokeh effects. It has an angle of view equivalent to 90mm on the E-mount system (35mm equivalent focal length). The minimum focusing distance is 19.7 inches; the maximum magnification is 1:7.2. This lens also contains Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass, which helps minimize axial and transverse chromatic aberration.

sony nex-5r sigma 60mm macro

Mockup of Sigma 60mm on NEX-5R

Sigma Corporation announces four new lenses at CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2013
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Jan. 29, 2013—Sigma Corporation of America a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the release of four new lenses for the ART product line, including three lenses for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and one lens for DSLR cameras with APS-C size sensors. This announcement comes at the start of the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2013 this week in Yokohama, Japan.

The new and updated Sigma lenses include the 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, which will be available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts, and the 30mm F2.8 DN, 19mm F2.8 DN and 60mm F2.8 DN lenses, which are available for Sony E-Mount camera systems. Pricing and availability on all of these lenses has yet to be announced.

The 60mm F2.8 DN lens is entirely new to the Sigma lineup, while the 30mm F1.4 DC HSM and the 30mm F2.8 DN and 19mm F2.8 DN lenses are existing focal lengths that have been redesigned with enhanced optical performance and included as part of Sigma’s new Global Vision category restructuring. All three DN lenses incorporate telecentric optical designs and a linear, auto focusing motor that ensures accurate and quiet focusing for video recording. They also boast metal exteriors and a simply shaped focus ring, with varying textures to distinguish each part of the lens. In addition, DN users can choose between a black or silver finish to match their favorite equipment.

“We’re really proud of the super sharp lenses we’ve produced in the past year and these new Art lenses will continue to impress our fans and critics alike. They’re ideal for the landscape, portrait, still-life, close-up and casual photographer who values creative, dramatic outcomes above compactness and multifunction,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “The lenses are entirely made in Japan and they boast the new product line’s sleek design and enhanced quality control. We’re quite proud of these changes – and additions – to our lens lineup; they’re further evidence of Sigma’s forethought in this fast-moving industry.”

sony nex-7 sigma dn art 19mm 30mm 60mm lenses

Mockup of Sigma Art DN Lenses on NEX-7

The Sigma 19mm and 30mm DN E-mount lenses have been upgraded and added to the Sigma Art line. The previous Sigma 19mm and 30mm are discontinued and were available at a discount. The improvements are a new metal body, quieter autofocus mechanism for videos, and enhanced optical performance.

Here is Sigma's description of the new 19mm DN and 30mm DN for Sony NEX cameras.
Sigma 19mm F2.8 DN – This high-performance, wide-angle lens has an angle of view equivalent to 28.5mm on the E-mount system (35mm equivalent focal length). As a wide-angle lens with excellent mobility, it is ideal for studio photography, architecture and starry skies. Its minimum focusing distance is 7.9 inches and its maximum magnification is 1:7.4.

Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN – This high-performance, standard lens has an angle of view equivalent to 45mm on the E-mount system (35mm equivalent focal length). This lens, which is perfect for casual and formal portraiture, documentary photography, travelogues and everyday shooting, includes a double-sided aspherical lens that enhances its optical performance. Its minimum focusing distance of 11.8 inches and its maximum magnification is 1:8.1.

Sigma, we would love to see that Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM in native E-mount as well.

Thanks Sigma!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Metabones Speed Booster Review by LensRentals

sony nex metabones speedbooster canon 50l sample

Canon 50L Sample on NEX-7 with Metabones Speed Booster
(effective 35mm f/0.9)

LensRentals posted their review of the Metabones Speed Booster. The Speed Booster lens adapter tested was a Canon EOS to Sony E-mount variant mounted on a Sony NEX-7. The lenses used were all Canon EF autofocus lenses, 14mm f/2.8 L II, 50mm f/1.2 L, and the 135mm f/2.0 L. The Speed Booster promises a one stop light improvement and a 0.7x focal length conversion. The lenses are effectively converted to 10mm f/2, 35mm f/0.9, and 95mm f/1.4 as seen by the Sony APS-C sensor.

So what was their conclusion after their test?
I think it was pretty obvious that I came armed for battle, ready to slam this product as some marketing overhype. I was wrong less correct than I might have been. The Speed Booster does what they claimed it would do, much to my shock and surprise. It creates a wider-angle, greater aperture lens while retaining resolution and acutance.

Read the whole Metabones Speed Boooster review with samples at the LensRentals blog.

sony nex-7 metabones speed booster

Metabones Speed Booster on Sony NEX-7

Thanks to Roger and LensRentals for the images shown above.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New 20mm Pancake Lens for NEX Cameras

sony nex 20mm pancake e-mount lens

New 20mm f/2.8 E-mount Lens for Sony NEX Cameras.

Here is the new E-mount lens from Sony. The 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens, part number SEL20F28, from Sony is a native E-mount lens which means full compatibility, autofocus and auto-aperture, with all the NEX cameras. The 20mm pancake is 20mm in depth, the 16mm pancake is 22.5mm in depth. This means a slightly more compact package on NEX bodies, see the NEX-5R with 16mm below. The lens will provide an equivalent fov of 30mm when used on the APS-C sensor.

The SEL20F28 20mm pancake lens will sell for $350 and will be available in April of this year. It makes the $250 16mm pancake seem like a bargain.

sony nex-5r 16mm pancake lens

NEX-5R with 16mm Pancake.

20mm Pancake (SEL20F28) Technical Specifications

Sony SEL20F28
20mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens
Lens Mount Sony E-mount
Lens Configuration 6 groups, 6 elements
Focal length (35mm equivalent) 30mm
Aperture blades 7
Aperture Range f/2.8 to f/16
Maximum magnification 0.12x
Min. focusing distance 7.9 in (0.2 m)
Filter Diameter ∅49mm
Dimensions Diameter x Length (max.) 2.5 x 0.8 in (62.6 x 20.4mm)
Weight 2.4 oz (69 g)
Other Features Internal Motor, AF in Movie Mode,
Direct Manual Focus
Exterior Finish Aluminum Alloy

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fuji X100s Digital Split Image Focusing

Fuji X100s Digital Split Image Focusing Demo

Here's a nice feature of the upcoming Fuji X100s that we'd like to see in a future NEX camera. They are using the PDAF sensor to create a digital split image to mimic classic manual focus slrs and rangefinders. You can also see that they've finally included focus peaking to one of their cameras. All NEX cameras include focus peaking since June 2011.

fuji x100s split image rangefinder focusing

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sigma 19mm and 30mm Two For One Deal

sigma 19mm 30mm sony nex deal

Get Both the Sigma 19mm and 30mm EX DN Lenses for $199

Here's a great deal from B&H Photo for the Sigma autofocus lenses for the Sony NEX system. Get the Sigma 19mm and 30mm EX Digital Neo lenses for $199. Each are normally priced at $199. The kit shows as backordered but B&H states that they can be ordered and they will ship and charge when the Sigma lenses come into stock. Happy ordering.

How The DSC-RX1 Is Assembled

Assembly of the Sony DSC-RX1

Here's a treat from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony posted a video of the assembly of the DSC-RX1.

sony dsc-rx1 Assembly video

Play it backwards and we have a disassembly video. Use at your own risk. :D

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Voigtlander 21mm Ultron Aspherical on Sony NEX-7

sony nex-7 voigtlander 21mm 1.8 ultron

NEX-7 with Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 Ultron via Novoflex Leica M to E-mount adapter.

TechTalk with Ron Sheffler tested the new Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 Aspherical Ultron against three other Leica M 21mm lenses on the Leica M9. He also used the lenses on the Sony NEX-7 and found that the Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 the best at farther distances and large apertures. The Leica 21 f/3.4 Super Elmar-M came in second, the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon in third, and the Leica 21 f/1.4 Summilux at the back of the pack. At f/4 all the lenses performed equally well on the NEX-7's APS-C sensor.

Here are some samples from the NEX-7 and the Voigtlander 21mm wide open at f/1.8. You can see more samples at TechTalk.
sony nex-7 voigtlander 21mm 1.8 ultron

sony nex-7 voigtlander 21mm 1.8 ultron

sony nex-7 voigtlander 21mm 1.8 ultron

Sample Images from NEX-7 with Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8

Check out TechTalk with Ron Sheffler for an extensive review and comparison between the four 21mm Leica M mount lenses mentioned above. There are also plenty of sample images from the Leica M9 with the lenses.

sony nex-7 voigtlander 21mm 1.8 ultron

Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 provides an equivalent field of view of 32mm on the NEX sensor.

sony nex-7 voigtlander 21mm 1.8 ultron

Images courtesy of ronsheffler.com.

Thanks Ron S!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Metabones Speed Booster NEX Lens Adapter

NEX-7 with Metabones Speed Booster Lens Adapter with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

Metabones Speed Booster Sony NEX Lens Adapter Test by James Miller

So what does the Metabones Speed Booster NEX lens adapter do?

  • Increase aperture by 1 stop. e.g. f/1.4 becomes f/1.0, which means more light to the sensor.
  • Increases MTF, which means better resolution all across the frame compared to a standard lens adapter.
  • Provides a focal length multiplier of 0.71x, NEX's APS-C 1.5 * SB 0.71 = 1.065, a 35mm lens = 37.7mm equivalent focal length.

metabones speed booster sony nex lens adapter

Metabones Speed Boost Sony NEX Lens Adapter

The EF E-mount Speed Booster Lens Adapter shown above also provides automatic electronic aperture control, image stabilization with IS lenses, EXIF information, and autofocus (albeit slow.)

Read more about the Metabones Speed Booster from the Metabones web site and white paper.

It's pretty amazing what the NEX has spawned from the third party manufacturers.