OK, look at this post. Now, look at your smartphone. You were reading this on your smartphone, weren’t you? It’s OK, I probably would’ve been, too. Now, flip your smartpthone over (for those of you who really are reading this on your smartphone, don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to come back). Did you see that lens there? The one that works that camera that, let’s face it, you probably use more than anything else?
Congratulations, you’ve just observed the reason why Olympus has decided to drop its entry level point and shoots. This is something we talk about at Roberts often, and honestly it’s been a long time coming. But this is probably the first open admission that smartphones are killing the compact market. So it begins. And, while so far there’s no word about the future of Oly’s super-zoom line and Tough lines, we’re assuming that they’ll keep making those. For the time being, at least. It’s going to be interesting to see where the market goes from here.
Ha! Bet you thought I’d forgotten about Nikon’s new lens announcement today, didn’t you? Not so! I was merely distracted by what I consider to be an important matter:
With jalapeno chips. Always with jalapeno chips.
However, now that that small matter is out of the way, let’s talk about Nikon’s new 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 portrait lens.
The sandwich is still better looking, but only just.
Thanks to the Nikon 1′s system’s odd choice of a 1″ sensor with its accompanying 2.7x crop factor, this lens has the field of view one would expect from an 85mm on a full-frame body. But, as a reminder for those of you new to this, that’s just the field-of-view, the rest of this lens (subject/background separation and depth of field) will continue to behave exactly like a 32mm lens. So, while it’ll look like an 85mm as far as what fits in the frame, you’re still going to see over twice the depth of field a full-frame 85mm f1.4 would at the same distances and the same f-stops. However, the f1.2 will also still really be f1.2, and that means this thing will be rockin’ in low-light, where that extra depth of field will also help make your life a lot easier. Seriously, you ever tried to focus on the eye of a hard rocker in a dark venue with an 85mm f1.4 and prayed you got it close enough that even half his face is in focus? That’ll be less of a problem with this.
And… actually, that’s most of what I had to say. It’s a 32mm (85mm FOV) f1.2, it’s really pretty honest upfront about what it’s gonna do for you. It’s got a silent-wave motor, as you’d expect, and nano coating to reduce flare. No VR though, in accordance with the prophecy. or at least with Nikon’s general thoughts on lenses f2.8 and faster not needing VR regardless of focal length. Ooh, there is an MTF chart though:
Not quite as strong as your average 85mm f1.4 turns out, but lets not forget this is an f1.2 lens and also like a sixth the size of your average 85mm, so, that’s actually a pretty strong showing there. And, if you’re a 1 system owner, it’s really about your only choice for portrait primes. So, the question really becomes: do you want it, or don’t ya?
Have you heard of anchoring? It’s a psychological phenomenon where once you’ve had one number put in your head, regardless of whether it’s actually based on anything, you make subsequent valuation calls based on it. With that in mind, I’d like to present a little exercise in anchoring:
Chevrolet Spark, MSRP starting at $12,185
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM 1.4x Extender, MSRP $11,799
See? If I did that right, you’ll now forever remember that the Canon 200-400 is cheaper than the spiritual descendant of a Geo. You’re welcome.
In other news, the newly announced Canon 200-400 is one heckuva lens. I mean, other than the nice focal range and constant f4 aperture and IS that you probably figured out from the name, there’s the built-in dedicated 1.4x extender that can be toggled on to make it a 280-560mm f5.6. And on top of that, well, have you seen the MTF charts? probably not, let me help you with that:
For those of you not so good with MTF here’s the really super simplified how-to guide for making sense of these:
The dark blue solid line represents contrast
The light blue solid line represents detail
The left side of the graph is the center of the frame, the right side is the corners
The closer to the top the lines are, the better they are
The dashed lines represent various astigmatism effects
The closer to the solid lines the dashed ones are, the prettier your bokeh will be.
So, with that quick coder ring there, a scan over those MTF charts suggests that this is one sharp lens. If you can’t see that light blue line, it’s because it’s essentially at the same place as the dark blue one, which is near unheard of. This lens may cost as much as a domestic sedan, but it has the optical chutzpah to back that tag up.
By now, I figure you’re either refinancing your house to get one, or have decided you won’t ever be doing anything but lusting over this, so, instead of dragging this out more, I’ll just post this preorder link here for those of you in the first group, k?
Back when Olympus launched their mirrorless Micro Four-Thirds system with the rebooted Pen brand and the Pen E-P1, it was one of the best looking cameras anyone had made in ages. Then, along came the rebooted OM series a few years later, and the bar for handsome retro was upped again with their attentive resurrection of the classic SLRs of yore. So, now the newest Pen takes even more retro cues from it’s bigger brother in the OM-D line, resurrecting a design style Olympus says is based directly off the original Pen F. Can’t say it’s too bad a plan, judging by how it turned out in the looks department.
Any way, the Pen E-P5 is now slated to be the second highest model in Olympus’ rather sizey Micro Four-Thirds system. it sits on the top of the Pen system, but still just below the OM-D E-M5 (most obviously through lack of integrated viewfinder and weather-sealing). However, that place blurs a little bit as you skim the specs sheet. The E-P5 sports a top shutter speed of 1/8000 of a second, and flash x-sync at an earnest 1/320, both of which tidily surpass even the E-M5. Other specs like 9fps shooting speed, 0.044 second lag speeds with AF, the E-P5′s AF system and 5-axis (compensating for shift in the X-Y-Z axes and also for pitch and yaw rotational shake), built-in wifi and an available app for select smartphone platforms, and a new switch that changes the dials from controling aperture and shutter to changing ISO and WB with a simple flick help reassure that this is quite a contender indeed.
The usual other specs are on board too, such as a 3″ high-rez tilting touch display, 16 megapixels, a virtual level, a built-in flash with Olympus’ usual advanced hotshoe that allows mounting both extenral flashes and an optional EVF, HD video, and so forth.
The Pen E-P5 sounds like quite a camera for those invested in the M4/3 system, and will come body only in black, silver or white for right at $1000, or with a 17mm f1.8 frime and the new VF-4 viewfinder for $1500 in only black or silver. Availability for all of it is slated as this month, but you could still go ahead and hit up our preorder pages to reserve one before then:
About two weeks ago I got a phone call from a really excited Jody Grober at Roberts Camera here in Indianapolis about a new piece of gear they just got in called: The CamRanger. With a name like that I was instantly interested, but had absolutely no idea what this thing did so after getting it I had to do some research. Turns out this is a third party solution for Nikon and Canon cameras to replace Nikon and Canon’s own wireless camera solutions. Well, that was a mouthful. Ok lets try this. Basically it makes any DSLR wireless without being brand specific. Nikon, or Canon can be done from the same unit. Same third party unit. Whattttt?
(Photo Courtesy CamRanger)
Whoa. Ok so it’s a third party. Before I get into it all, I should mention that I”m not paid for this. I am not being paid by Nikon, Canon, Roberts Camera or Cam Ranger. What I say on here is my opinion, and I am prone to miss things or aggravate someone while I’m at it. If you have any questions or comments, you can always feel free to email me or leave it in the comments. Now, ONWARD!
Why would you buy this $299 third party unit vs the Nikon and Canon units? Lets face it CamRanger realizes there is a price point thing here for functionality. Exactly like when I’ve bought the Generic Ebay SB-900 battery packs for $20 vs the $200 Nikon versions. The $20 chinese versions are junk though, and I know I get what I pay for. Both the Canon and Nikon units depending on your level of camera can be found from $500-$1,000. The Pro cameras are obviously the more expensive wireless units, but the CamRanger works with the D3, D4, 1Dx, 5D Mark II and almost every other camera in both manufacturers lineup. I say almost every other camera because my Canon 1D Mark II is not officially supported because the makers of the CamRanger wanted to stick with the latest and greatest, and that makes sense. Their website says that even though the camera isn’t on the official list, doesn’t mean it won’t work; you just won’t have some functionality that the camera itself doesn’t have like live view or video. That being said, My 1D Mark II doesn’t register at all, and I’m not surprised; nor do I care. Here’s thelist of supported cameras via their website. So, this is a third party device that’s cheaper than the name brand deal, does it work? Absofrigginlutely!
OK so lets go straight to the sports part of this review. I shot that at the beginning of theNaptown Tornado Sirens Roller Derby bout last Saturday night. I had my Canon 5D Mark II up on a I beam in turn 3 (as a reference for what you can see from the photo) with a 16mm lens. I was curious as to how the CamRanger would work with 3,000 people using cell phones floating around inside of a giant metal structure. The Box says it’s good to 50 meters, but I was using easily as far away as 70 meters while I was playing around and getting people to say how cool having a live birds eye view of the arena was from my cell phone. I shot that frame with my iPhone from just about in my shooting position towards the end of turn 1. Not much more to be said or done there since lets face it, once you get a wide remote set up like that you really only get one kind of photo unless you’re shooting with long glass; which I wasn’t. I did notice that if you have a bunch of stuff between you and the cam ranger the range is affected, but how often are you going to be shooting something not in the same room as yourself? (more on that shortly) Shot a little bit of video with the 5D2, but otherwise the camera in that corner was meant only for this shot, and for that it greatly succeeded. I experimented with different camera settings while the camera was on the post, but none of them really mattered, either the shot was flat, too dark, or just had uninteresting subject matter. Not the CamRanger’s fault, my own for not putting it in a more interesting place.
(Screenshot of my original placement test and test shot, This was great because I saw I had to rotate the camera about an inch to the left.)
The functionality of the cam ranger is pretty awesome. I was able to control the Focus, aperture, shutterspeed, file format (RAW, TIFF, jpeg ect) along with the size of the image, I could decide if I wanted to shoot in live view, or shoot video and what video settings to do so at, as well as I could watch what the camera was recording in almost real time. All on my iPhone or iPad. How was connectivity? Lets just say the biggest problem I had was the Superfan next to me taking my phone to play with it. You should also take note, that the Canon 5D had a Pocket Wizard on it firing my lights. So unlike Canon’s 6D’s built in WiFi Ability, the CamRanger can trigger a Pocket Wizard via the Wifi. Bad. Ass. It’s also worth noting that I wasn’t using just any Pocket Wizard, but one of my Nikon Pocket Wizard TT5?s on this particular Canon 5D Mark II. You would figure that as a dummy trigger it would work, and it did flawlessly. It also was able to give my Canon a sync above 1/160th, meaning the Hypersync functionality was preserved somehow. Don’t know how, but like I said; it’s worth nothing. Also, I shoot in RAW almost always. For the CamRanger if you are using it as a remote it obviously takes a few minutes for the 30mb RAW files to flow through so I would recommend shooting RAW+Small Jpeg which makes the files appear on the iPad or iPhone almost instantly while keeping the RAW files safe on the card in the camera. This is not something that I did while using the CamRanger as a remote, however I could have set the camera to do this at any time from my phone. Honestly though once I had everything set up I didn’t really need to view lots of the images as I knew what I was getting at that point. One thing that I was missing though was a battery indicator for the CamRanger. I had the thing powered up on this Canon 5D Mark II from around 3:30pm until about 10pm and the battery lasted without a problem. Would it have died 10 minutes later? I have no idea. It’s great that CamRanger designed the thing with a replaceable battery so you can carry extras, but there’s really no way to tell how much juice the thing has left in it at any given time.
My only complaint on the actual connectivity has nothing to do with the CamRanger but the iPhone itself. Unfortunately when you are connected to the CamRanger network don’t expect to get any kind of data in or out of your phone. The phone thinks it’s connected to WiFi, but really its connected to a dead end network, so picture texts, email, and web browsing is unavailable when you re connected to the CamRanger. Not the end of the world, but kind of annoying depending on what you’re doing.
For the people that care about the sports aspect of this device, here’s a video showing it at work during setup:
Ok now for the Studio folks out there. Being able to control the camera is great, but that really isn’t what you want when you’re shooting in a studio sometimes. Giving the clients control of your camera in the middle of a shoot isn’t high on my to do list of ideas, so I’m guessing it probably isn’t on yours either. The CamRanger App has a mode that allows you to remove everything from the screen except for the images popping up, and a rating system so that the person/people/art directors watching the shoot can select stuff on the fly. Cool. Basically it’s like shooting tethered, except your art director can only see the images as opposed to a tech pulling them in and cataloging them. The images can be automatically downloaded to your device but that sounds like a wonderful way to fill up an iPad or iPhone now doesn’t it? Again, this is an occasion where you would want to shoot RAW + Small Jpeg so that the images appear and can download instantly while protecting the precious RAW files on the card in the camera.
If shooting in a studio for people isn’t your cup o tea, then maybe the Focus stacking and HDR Bracketing is? This is where I feel as though I was finally led a little a stray by the CamRanger (at my own fault). The cam ranger app is capable of allowing you to set up increments of focus for an automated focus stacking. (taking photos of something at different focal points to put them into another image software creating an image with multiple items in focus, or a deeper focus, that would not be possible in camera). When I first tried this on my Fiancee’s engagement ring I was sort of assuming that it would layer the images together for me. Unfortunately I gave it too much credit because lets face it, this was a 5D Mark II shooting RAW files via an iOS app on my iPad. Did I really think it was going to do the work for me? Sheesh, I must have been high on how well this thing works at that point or something. It automatically shot the images at a predefined change in focus, but no it did not stack them for me automatically which shouldn’t be surprising to anybody. When I went to do the HDR Bracketing, it bracketed the images beautifully, and I was under no impression that my iPad would layer them together for me (which it didn’t). All that work needs to be done in the computer still which by far isn’t the end of the world. You need to keep in mind what I didn’t, and that’s that this is a tool for shooting, not post processing. As a tool for shooting, this thing is very, very solid.
For a more complete idea of how the CamRanger works overall, as well as a bit of studio related stuff, check out this next video below where I set up a ridiculous shooting scenerio. I set up Shannon’s ring with the camera on a tripod in the livingroom, and then proceeded to do the photoshoot from out in my car in the driveway. If that doesn’t give you an idea what this little device is capable of, I don’t have any idea what will. The Ruby ended up a little pink since my Speedlight ended up shooting through it, but for demonstration purposes it does it’s just perfectly. Also, the original idea was to do the video in one cut, but as luck would have it I ended up getting called by my dad during recording, and you’ll see where it breaks. For the future if I record something on my phone, I need to remember to turn it into Airplanae mode to keep our photo/video conversation from being interrupted.
Is the CamRanger perfect? No. It’s damn close though. For $299 you can get a device that provides just about all the functionality of the Nikon or Canon Counterparts; direct to your phone or iPad. For a lot of people I’m sure it will be a dream come true. For sports photographers that use a lot of Remotes this could be really great because they can look at their take from the sidelines without needing to get out their laptop. Select an image, download it, and send it from your phone (after disconnecting from the CamRanger network of course). You can even check the focus of your images in the app, without needing to download them and put them into photoshop touch, or snapspeed to check them. The in studio client mode is fantastic, giving people the ability to see their photos but not touch them if you know what I mean. Really I feel like the CamRanger fits into a spot that Nikon and Canon have attempted to get into many times but failed honestly due to price point. I’d have bought a Nikon or Canon wireless transmitter years ago if the one I needed wasn’t $700 with reports all over the internet about being incredibly inconsistent…
I do however feel like I would like to see some things added/changed. As far as I can tell, you can only use one CamRanger at a time on one device at a time. Not a problem if you’re triggering your remote with a pocket wizard because the editor can still look at stuff, but if I wanted to trigger the cam ranger from a phone and have someone editing on an iPad I couldn’t do it. It would probably be too hard on the WiFi signal that way, but I’d still like to see it as an option. I’d also love to see you be able to set up your rangers all on one network and be able to manage several of them in a single running app on a phone or iPad. Not sure if it’s possible or what it would take, but for the really hardcore sports folks, or folks that do a lot of remotes like my pal Andy Hancock being able to only use one at a time is kind of a bummer. Maybe a CamRanger PRO or something in the future that allows you to name and specify parameters on your own network allowing you to put them all together as one? Then you could just select which one you want to use and view from a menu in the App; or even to fire all of them at once. Not sure, I will have to see what the CamRanger people say about something like that, I’m not a WiFi engineer so I could be breaking the laws of physics with that suggestion.
In order to use your ranger for the first time you need to pair it to your device which is pretty simple, but seems like it’s 2 steps longer than it needs to be. Once its paired it’s a function of turning it on and waiting for it to start up before you can use it. Stupid easy, and I like that. Every time you want to use a new device (iPad, or iPhone) to control your ranger you have to register your device online, so unless you have a WiFi hotspot, or 3/4G ipad, make sure you try to set it up at home first to make sure you can even use it once you get into the field. Once it’s registered on one device, it should just be registered and you should be able to pair it with whatever device you have. Not that I have a ton of iOS devices and would run into the problem of wanting to pair a device in the field regularly, but I hadn’t paired my iPhone to the CamRanger before the Roller Derby bout and it was annoying to have to connect, disconnect, and reconnect the CamRanger in order to get it to work.
Honestly. Any of the things that bugged me about the CamRanger are minor, and none of them prevent the device from doing what it is supposed to do. You plug it into your camera via USB and it works. No joke. I really was curious as to how this third party device would stack up, but honestly I’d be much more inclined to buy this than the Nikon or Canon counterparts, for quite a few reason other than the price. The ONLY thing that the CamRanger doesn’t do (to my knowledge) is allow you to access the files via a Computer. If they had an App that allowed you to connect your laptop to the cam ranger (CamRanger Pro?) I could see them totally dominating the market in terms of Wireless Camera interactions. There would be no reason for someone wanting that functionality to not buy one because lets face it, half the price of the competition for a product that works just as well if not better is tough to beat.
So to make a long story even longer; I dig it. I dig it a lot. I don’t know what the price increase might be for some of the features I suggested for a CamRanger Pro (or if a price increase is even required for my suggestions), but even if they had it at $400 for the Pro version I’d see it as a very reasonable price for what you get. I feel likeCamRanger really nailed it with this product and I really look forward to seeing what they do in the future. The CamRanger I have will be going back to Roberts Camera for people to play with in the showroom so if you’re curious go check it out in person. It’ll be there for anyone to play with, so just go in and ask Phil about it. If you’ve ever thought about adding wireless functionality to your camera this is the product without a doubt. Roberts Camera here in Indy has them in stock, so check them out online, or go visit the guys in the store. Good people there. Happy Shooting, and More soon.
Well, would ya look at that. It’s been so long since they pre-announced it I’d almost forgotten Canon still owed all you 5D mark III shooters a new firmware, and at long last that fabled unicorn has burst majestically through the gates.
So, what does your patience land you today? According to the official change log, you get the following:
Firmware Version 1.2.1 incorporates the following functional improvements and fixes.
1. Uncompressed HDMI output is now enabled.
2. Enables the center AF point to autofocus when the camera is used with Canon EF lens/extender combinations whose combined maximum aperture is f/8.
3. Improves the speed of the camera’s acquisition of focus when using a Canon Speedlite’s AF-assist beam.
4. Fixes a phenomenon in which the LCD monitor may freeze and display Err 70 or Err 80 when a still photo is taken during Live View or in movie shooting mode.
5. Fixes a phenomenon that may occur when the continuous shooting priority setting is enabled for multiple exposures, such that, after the sixth image is taken, there is a slight pause before the remainder of the sequence is completed.
6. Fixes a phenomenon in which the viewfinder display shows incorrect information during AEB shooting.
7. Communication with the WFT-E7 Wireless File Transmitter has been improved.
8. When images have been successfully transferred with the WFT-E7 Wireless File Transmitter through the FTP protocol, an “O” will be displayed. When images have not been successfully transferred with the WFT-E7 Wireless File Transmitter through the FTP protocol, an “X” will be displayed.
9. Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera may not function properly when an Eye-Fi card is used.
10. Fixes a phenomenon in which the focal length value listed in the Exif information is not displayed correctly for images shot with the EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM lens.
11. Fixes a phenomenon in which the lens firmware cannot be updated properly.
12. Corrects errors in the Arabic language menu.
13. Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera changes the AF microadjustment value to -8.
14. Fixes a phenomenon in which the on-screen guidance cannot be fully displayed when setting the maximum limit value for the “Setting the ISO Speed Range for Auto ISO” option.
* Items No.1 through 12 have been incorporated into firmware version 1.2.0.
* Items No.1 through 14 have been incorporated into firmware version 1.2.1.
Not too shabby. Uncompressed HDMI, AF improvements with extenders, bug fixes, fixes for the wireless transmitter, and so on. It’s available now from Canon USA, just use the source link below, select your OS and it’ll walk you through downloading the right firmware package and getting it installed. Now, hop to.
We’re going to be honest with you: we suspect we’re not the only camera blog you read. It’s OK. We understand. *sniff* So, we also assume most of you are probably by now already aware that Panasonic has announced a new G-series micro Four-Thirds mirrorless compact (their first one that’s just a “G” and not a “GH” or “GF” since 2008, says their graphic) dubbed the DMC-G6, and a somewhat more exciting new point-and-shoot called the DMC-LF1. I mean, every other tech blog in the world was talking about them Wednesday night (see, I read those other blogs too, it’s OK. Really). So, we’ll just do a quick recap here for anyone who does actually just follow us, but more in-depth stuff can be found other places quite easily. Mostly we’re just confirming that yes, finally, Panasonic US is showing that these will be officially coming over here, so now we can finally say something about them.
So, the one pictured above is the G6, and it’s a quasi-DLSR shaped mirrorless compact with a built-in EVF and a general design and feel made more for people used to DLSRs than people wanting a better point and shoot. It’s a 16 megapixel shooter with a newly designed processor and filter that offer increased performance and 3-5% gains in resolution over other Panasonic designs, as well as ISO up to 25,600 (extended) and 7 frames-per-second. It’s got wi-fi and NFC built-in, a 3″ tilt/swivel 1036k dot touch panel on the back, a new higher resolution OLED EVF, Panasonic’s well-respected movie mode and quality settings, and support for all the usual M4/3 accessories and lenses, including those made by Olympus, Metz, and Sigma. So far they’re only talking about it as a kit with a 14-42mm II lens, and no price has been mentioned yet.
More exciting is the new LF1 compact camera. It’s smaller and simpler than their awesome LX7, but has an EVF built-in for people who prefer a viewfinder at all to the arms-length LCD-only shooting of most modern compacts. It’s got a 12 megapixel 1/1.7″ sensor, a 28-200mm equivalent f2-5.9 zoom, a high-rez EVF and rear 3″ LCD, wi-fi and NFC, support for Panasonic’s RAW format, vHD video, and a control rign around the front lens (a la Canon and Olympus’ counterparts in this range). And did I mention it’s smaller all-around than the already not-chunky LX7? I did? Good! What i can’t mention is the price, because there isn’t one yet, but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for you.
Sigma has just sent us a link demoing their firmware cradle which was announced along with their ART 30mm f1.4 and which will work with their new lenses going forward. Excitingly, it looks like not only does it allow for focus microadjustment, but it does so for different values at different focus distances within the same focal length. So, instead of the one-size-fits-all microadjustment offered by bodies, you can tweak your new Sigma lenses so have different compensation at their closest focus distance versus infinity. Now that kids is cool. Check it out for yourself below.
See that lens up there? That’s Sigma’s upcoming 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art, which has the very awesome privilege of being the world’s first f1.8 standard zoom. Since it’s for APS-C bodies (Canon’s Rebel / XXD / 7D series bodies, and Nikon’s DX bodies) you’re talking an equivalent FOV of 29-56mm on Canon and 27-53 on Nikon. But, that’s just the FOV equivalence. What’s exciting here is the aperture. You see, depth-of-field isn’t reliant on the “equivalent” field of view, it’s a simple function of sensor size, actual focal length, aperture, and distance to subject. As a result, you’ve probably heard people talking about the DOF stops of disadvantage when using a lens on a crop body. Things like, “sure, it’s f2.8, but since you’re on crop that’s really more like f4.” That’s a sort of simplistic and somewhat wrong way of thinking about it, but the underlying concern is true. because we use shorter lenses for the same field of view on crop bodies then we do on full-frame, and because the shorter a focal length is the deeper it’s DOF is at the same aperture, you do see deeper depth of field on an “equivalent” crop body lens than you will on a full-frame one.
Enter the f1.8 zoom. Excited to see how the f1.8 would fare in real DOF comparisons, I broke out my DSLR toolbox calculator and ran some maths for you. I ran things for two bodies, full-frame and Nikon DX (1.5x crop). Then, I picked two focal lengths with the same field of view: 18mm on the DX, 28mm on the full-frame. I kept the distance to the subject the same at 2 yards. Then, I calculated for f1.8 on the DX, and f2.8 on the full-frame. The results? At 28mm f2.8 and 2 yards to my subject on full-frame my total depth of field was 2.3 feet. At 18mm f1.8 and 2 yards to the subject on DX, the total was 2.34 feet. So, Sigma’s f1.8 zoom here will let you APS-C shooters get the same shallow DOF we full-frame shooters get from those abundant f2.8 standard lenses we get for our bodies.
And, as a perk, f1.8 is still brighter than f2.8 by 1.3 stops. So, not only will you finally be able to get the same shallow DOF, but you’ll be able to do it at lower ISOs (which should help counter for full-frame’s low-light advantage, but that’s an entirely different discussion) or faster shutter speeds. Neato.
No words on availability or pricing yet, but this new Art series lens will be available for Nikon, Canon, and Sigma mounts.
Call me biased (because I am), but I actually really enjoyed reading this interview with the people at Tamron who helped develop their new SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD lens, the first image-stabilized 24-70mm. Those of you who’ve only ever shot Nikon or Canon might not understand the appeal of such a thing, since their company line has always been that at shorter focal lengths and f2.8 stabilization isn’t need, but any of you who’ve had a system with in-body IS will likely know just how handy it is even on fast standards. But, making one work for full-frame was apparently an endeavor, and the developers talk about shrinking the VC unit and giving it more power, developing their own USM focus drive, figuring out an optical formula to keep the lens shorter, and more. It’s a good read, especially for what’s proving to be a gray and chilly Indiana Friday out here. Read it yourself via the source link.