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Derek

Panasonic Adds Two New Lenses to m4/3 Lineup


Panasonic today has announced two new Lumix lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, a 42.5mm f1.7 portrait prime and a 30mm f2.8 macro lens with 1:1 reproduction.

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The macro lens is properly the Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. As mentioned just a moment ago (you didn't forget did you?) it's a true 1:1 macro, and with m4/3's 2x crop factor means it will have the final result of functioning like a 2:1 60mm macro. Not too dang shabby. The MEGA O.I.S. in the name means it has built-in lens-based image stabilization to help you keep things steady (though, if you're buying this to use on many Olympus bodies you'll want to turn it off, since it'll argue with the sensor-shift IS Olympus uses instead). Lens construction is pretty straightforward with 9 elements in 9 groups with just the one aspherical element mentioned in the name as the only exotic. Unlike the Olympus 60mm there's no weather-sealing here, and given the shots of it there'll be a lot less control in terms of focus limits too:

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You'll be able to pick one up for $399.99 in April or so, and that means this link right here will be for preorders until then:

http://robertscamera.com/catalog/product/view/id/53697/s/lumix-g-marco-30mm-f-2-8-asph-lens/

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The portrait lens is formally known as the Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 ASPH POWER O.I.S, and is also a reasonably standard affair. With m4/3's usual 2x crop it's a 50mm f1.7 standard lens, the OIS stabilization has the same caveats as the macro did, with the note that the "POWER" iteration is supposed to be up to twice as effective as the older "MEGA" version. Construction shows 10 elements in 8 groups, and once again just that lone aspherical lens from the name as the exotic. This, too, will run $399.99 but the availability is more like May. The link below will be a preorder until then, but if you're reading this from the future (is it everything we ever dreamed it would be, future citizen?) then it may in fact just go to where you can buy one right now. But at this boring "present" moment, it's a preorder instead.

http://robertscamera.com/catalog/product/view/id/53698/s/lumix-g-42-5mm-f-1-7-asph-lens/



Derek

Need to clean a lens?


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If you're looking for a good tip on the basic maintenance that is cleaning your lenses, our own very own Jeff "JJ" Johansen has been interviewed by local business reviewer Angie's List on how to do exactly that for a how-to guide they have posted today. Go ahead and give them the click to check that out and learn how our rentals manager (who sees more than his share of dirty lenses) recommends caring for your gear.



Derek

Buzzing About Drones


So, this past weekend a draft of the FAA's proposals for handling drones leaked online, and given that drones are expected to be quite the large industry going forwards (changing everything from photojournalism to Amazon deliveries, if the cards fall right) it's been getting a lot of attention. Especially because right now the FAA doesn't feel technology is ready to let drones avoid collision autonomously and is leaning towards requiring they only be operated in line-of-site (which would, yanno, really put a damper on those Amazon deliveries...). It's still of course just a leaked document, not even a final proposal, and once it is, it'll still have to go through a feedback period that could take up to two years, so, it's in no way a done deal yet. But, since it's slow while we wait on things like Canon's new 5DS models to land, how about a poll? How do you feel about the proposed line-of-sight regulation? Let us know below.



Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Walt Kuhn: 4 Week Fundamentals of Photography - Downtown


This 4 week class is meant to get you started in understanding your camera. "Auto" is more than a bad four letter word! It's the wrong mode setting for you. Learn all about shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how we can change them to affect our final image. We'll teach you how to quickly find the exposure information for the photo you are about to take. Topics covered also include auto-focus, white balance and how to stop getting blurry pictures in low light. To get started in photography and learn the fundamentals, this is the course for you. Required equipment: DSLR camera.

Presented ByWalt Kuhn
Cost:$125
When:March 7th, 2015 - March 28th, 2015
Times:10am-12pm
Where:Roberts Camera - Downtown
220 East St. Clair Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Register Today


Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Walt Kuhn: 4 Week Fundamentals of Photography - Brownsburg


This 4 week class is meant to get you started in understanding your camera. "Auto" is more than a bad four letter word! It's the wrong mode setting for you. Learn all about shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how we can change them to affect our final image. We'll teach you how to quickly find the exposure information for the photo you are about to take. Topics covered also include auto-focus, white balance and how to stop getting blurry pictures in low light. To get started in photography and learn the fundamentals, this is the course for you. Required equipment: DSLR camera.

Presented ByWalt Kuhn
Cost:$125
When:March 4th, 2015 - March 25th, 2015
Times:6-8pm
Where:Starbucks Brownsburg
1085 N. Green Street
Brownsburg, IN 46112
Register Today


Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Anthony Alexander: 4 Week Fundamentals of Photography - Carmel


This 4 week class is meant to get you started in understanding your camera. "Auto" is more than a bad four letter word! It's the wrong mode setting for you. Learn all about shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how we can change them to affect our final image. We'll teach you how to quickly find the exposure information for the photo you are about to take. Topics covered also include auto-focus, white balance and how to stop getting blurry pictures in low light. To get started in photography and learn the fundamentals, this is the course for you. Required equipment: DSLR camera.

Presented ByAnthony Alexander
Cost:$125
When:March 4th, 2015 - March 25th, 2015
Times:6-8pm
Where:Earth Fare Market
1392 S. Rangeline Road
Carmel, IN 46032
Register Today


Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Walt Kuhn: 4 Week Fundamentals of Photography - Greenwood


This 4 week class is meant to get you started in understanding your camera. "Auto" is more than a bad four letter word! It's the wrong mode setting for you. Learn all about shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how we can change them to affect our final image. We'll teach you how to quickly find the exposure information for the photo you are about to take. Topics covered also include auto-focus, white balance and how to stop getting blurry pictures in low light. To get started in photography and learn the fundamentals, this is the course for you. Required equipment: DSLR camera.

Presented ByWalt Kuhn
Cost:$125
When:March 3rd, 2015 - March 24th, 2015
Times:6-8pm
Where:Strange Brew Coffee house -Greenwood
4800 W. Smith Valley Road
Greenwood, IN 46142
Register Today


Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Jennifer Hall: 4 Week Fundamentals of Photography - Broad Ripple


This 4 week class is meant to get you started in understanding your camera. "Auto" is more than a bad four letter word! It's the wrong mode setting for you. Learn all about shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how we can change them to affect our final image. We'll teach you how to quickly find the exposure information for the photo you are about to take. Topics covered also include auto-focus, white balance and how to stop getting blurry pictures in low light. To get started in photography and learn the fundamentals, this is the course for you. Required equipment: DSLR camera.

Presented ByJennifer Hall
Cost:$125
When:March 3rd, 2015 - March 24th, 2015
Times:6-8pm
Where:Dunkin Doughnuts - 86th Street
1216 West 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Register Today


Derek

Sigma's Global Vision Gets Wider with 24mm f/1.4 ART


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Sigma today has added another fast prime to it's ever-growing collection of incredibly well-regarded ART lenses. The 50mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/1.4 have both met with nothing but rave reviews for build quality, performance, and optical quality, and we've got a lot of faith this newest entry is going to keep that up. To that end, continuing to widen things up, we have the new 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A. Like its siblings it's a beefcake of a prime, certainly not one of the compact ones of yore. The 3.6" length and 77mm filter aren't too terrible though by modern lens standards, and while 23.5oz sounds quite hefty it does speak well of the amount of glass to be found inside the lens.

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A promise which is indeed followed through on by the specs, with 15 elements in 11 groups making up the optical formula. To go crazy, 9 of those elements are specialty glass (2 aspherical elements, 3 FLD low-dispersion elements, and 4 SLD low-dispersion elements.) We don't have any empirical testing on it yet, but the MTF charts from Sigma look promising:

401_mtfchartIt will of course be compatible with Sigma's USB dock for fine tuning your AF performance for your camera and style. In Canon and Nikon mounts, availability and price TBD. Check out more on our site:

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A

 



Derek

Nikon Looks to the Stars with World's First Full-Frame DSLR for Astrophotography


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File this under "Cool, but pretty darn niche," but Nikon has announced a new astrophotography camera based on the D810, and dubbed reasonably the D810A. It's the first astro-specific camera we've had since Canon discontinued the 60Da, and the first of its kind to bring full-frame to the table. Unless you spend a lot of time looking at the stars this isn't going to be a camera for you, because while there are a lot of fine tweaks to earn it that "A" most of them won't matter for general shooting, and one of the main ones will actually make the camera less than ideal for anything other than long-exposure night shots. That change being the biggest part, a modification to the IR filter letting more of the IR spectrum (656nm) needed for astro-photography in (at the cost of probably adding a pervasive red tint to normal old daylight photos where you don't need that extended range). Other changes include manual shutter speeds all the way up to 900 seconds (15 minutes) before you have to break out the bulb mode and a virtual preview for long exposures to help you get your composition and focus right. Before you spend 15 minutes on the shot.

Nikon provides this table to break down the difference between the D810 and the D810A, but the big take-away is still that unless you're just shooting stars, you just want the regular model. If stars are your thing though, this is going to be the ticket.

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The D810A will be available in May, but Nikon doesn't have any pricing yet so stay tuned. If you're interested regardless of the future cost, check it out on our site:

Nikon D810A