*Sony brings two new, sexy ultrawide zooms to the Full Frame party. JUST ANNOUNCED!!!

We’ve heard whispers of the Sony FE 16-35mm GM lens bandied about, and perhaps those in the know have also been hearing about an even wider option, but the FE 12-24 f/4 lens just caught me by surprise!

While pre-orders won’t be taken until this Friday, you can submit to have an email alert once they are available via these links which you can see more about these lenses, their specs and will take you directly to B&H:

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM HERE

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G HERE

B&H lists the specs of the 16-35 f/2.8 lens as follows:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Three Aspherical and Two XA Elements
  • Nano AR and Fluorine Coatings
  • Two Direct Drive SSM AF Groups
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Eleven-Blade Circular Diaphragm

…And the 12-24 f/4 lens is listed at B&H as such:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
  • Four Aspherical Elements
  • One Super ED and Three ED Elements
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Seven-Bladed Rounded Diaphragm

Obviously, the B&H site has mis-listed the max aperture on the 12-24, but both of these lenses look really, really good on paper.  How they test out optically is yet to be seen, but I’d imagine it won’t take long for us to get many comprehensive reviews very soon.  These are going to be two popular lenses.

The 16-35 looks very nice, and I’m sure will be an extremely popular UWA zoom for pro use, the price is very high in my opinion.  Reminds me of the Canon debate between their EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L and EF 17-40mm f/4 L lenses where the extra stop costs nearly twice as much.  For me personally, I use an ultra wide zoom for interiors and landscapes which usually see me stop down to f/8- f/11 or so, and will be shot on a tripod.  That made the decision for me an easy one.  I see a similar situation here with Sony’s offerings.  The 12-24mm lens looks pretty damn intriguing, and while the price is still very steep, by comparison to the 16-35, for my UWA use, I’d be opting for the wider, slower zoom myself, assuming these both test well optically.

Both are dust and moisture resistant meaning they should do well to hold up in inclement weather for outdoor shooting, as we should expect for lenses like these, targeted and priced for professional use.

Anyhoo, keep an eye out for these bad boys.  Should go some way in helping round out Sony’s full frame lens game for those serious, and deep pocketed shooters.

Cheers, and happy shooting,

Tyson

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Battle of some Portrait Primes. Full Frame vs m4/3, Zeiss vs Leica, let the pissing contest commence…

battle

Well hi there!  Been a while.  Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture.  That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.  

Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.

C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.

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*Who the @#$! needs film? Comparing film to film replication software w/ @alienskin

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(*this article was originally written for, and appeared on the Alien Skin blog, by me, HERE.)

Put out your torches, and put down your pitchforks.  I love film.  I shoot film, and have a freezer and fridge full of it from 35mm Kodak Gold and Ilford Delta, to 120 Tri X and Portra 160 NC.  The question I’ve struggled with though, is why?  Why do I still shoot film?  It’s expensive to process, ridiculously tedious to digitize and even with expensive drum scanning, still doesn’t reach the depth and range of modern digital files.  Well, the answer for me has been nostalgia, the feel of the image, and the ability to take a step back, and focus on shooting in a more organic way that coincides with my initial falling in love with photography in the first place.  A beautiful reality though, is that through software, and remarkable sensor technology, we can quickly and easily replicate the look of film if we want, taking care of one of those (my) criteria.

This post is not meant to be any more than a personal experiment in which I’ll look to answer this question for myself when using my go to digital solution when wanting to help analogize results within my digital reality and workflow because, while I may not need film, I sure do love to replicate the look and feel of it.  C’mon in…

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*Holy S#!† The new FW updates for the @Sony a7II and #Metabones EF smart adapter have created a monster.

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Sorry for my dirty, foul mouth. I’m just blown away by how much better my a7II and Canon EF lens setup has become overnight.  Long overdue, the Sony a7II got the much ballyhooed Uncompressed 14 bit RAW update (as opposed to that weird 11/7 compressed stuff, which is still nicely, an option) along with the return of the on sensor Phase Detection AF to the a7, pro-sumer camera with third party lenses.  Why they kept this out to begin with is beyond me, and really one of my gripes with the Sony approach as a whole, but now that it’s here, it is friggin’ amazing.  It is like I have an entirely new camera.  C’mon in for firmware update links, and a video comparison between the auto focus speed and performance from the original firmware on the a7II and Metabones mark IV adapter, and now that they’ve both very recently been updated…

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*A weekend with the Canon EF 200-400 f/4 L IS USM zoom lens.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM lens

What a weekend.  Sore arms and shoulders and my eyes are still recovering from the sun glare off the water, this weekend found a large, North American regatta fall into our backyard.  As a sponsor of the regatta (representing two sponsoring companies) I was able to talk my way onto a customer and friend’s chase boat.  Of course, it provided me an opportunity to rent one of Canon’s super tele monster lenses, so that’s what I did.

C’mon in to see some shots and read my thoughts on the EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM lens…

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*Lensbaby Velvet 56 for Micro 4/3 Review! w/ @SeeInANewWay


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There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the newest lens in the Lensbaby family.  The Velvet 56 offers a bit of a departure from what Lensbaby has been known by in that it has forgone the ability to selectively manipulate the plane of focus into a point or tangential plane, with most lenses offering the ability to be swapped into or out of one of their lens housing bodies like the Composer Pro, or Scout.

The new Velvet 56 is a solidly built, fixed focal length 56mm f/1.6 prime lens that has a different trick up its sleeve.  In days of yore, many portrait photographers used lenses that would intentionally soften contrast and the overall image, aptly called “soft focus” lenses.  

Enter the Velvet 56, and as its name suggests, it is as smooth as Barry White by candlelight.  C’mon in for some sample shots and my thoughts…

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*Sony a7II, a game changer? My take on Sony’s newest FF cam, a user review.

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I’ve been shooting with the Sony a7II full frame, 24 megapixel mirrorless camera for almost a month now, which has given me a bit of time to really get a feel for it.  I don’t like to review cameras that I’ve not had the ability to fire off a few thousand shots with, so I’ve been using this camera almost exclusively since I got it, and now feel a bit better about praising and lambasting Sony on a few points.  C’mon in for my initial thoughts, and a few performance based tests…

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