Having owned four 1.4x teleconverters for my birding outfit, I was excited to see a new candidate at PMA 2009. From previous report, we spotted a 3rd party battery grip for 5D Mark II at Meike booth, as well as a new a 1.4x TC available for both Nikon and Canon mounts. The design is closely resembling the Tamron SP or the kenko standard 1.4x TC; it doesn’t has a front element that’s sticking out from the mounting flange nor o-rings for weather seal, but definitely has slight edges in built quality.
Olympus has today announced a firmware update for its Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6, the Four Thirds System standard wide-angle zoom lens, to further improve ”IMAGER AF operation under certain conditions“.
To load the firmware, both camera and lens are required; for Olympus, update can be applied via the camera supplied software, while Panasonic user can obtain a firmware updater via Olympus website here.
Our mission at Canon’s booth while attending PMA 2009 was a failed epic. We've got the “hot on the heel” Panasonic’s GH1 video clips, Sigma’s newest 24-70mm IF DG HSM samples and Olympus E-620 high ISO test shots, but the permission to test on the World’s widest Tilt-n-shift TS-E 17mm f/4L was gracefully denied by Canon! So sorry folks, no sneak peek on the TS-E lenses, however we have Canon’s tech guru, Brian Matsumoto on video explaining the 17mm’s TS-E feature, briefly.
You want more choices of walk-a-round 24-70mm zooms with silent motors? Here's your latest option, but it comes in at a slight higher premium cost that one would normally expect from a 3rd party lens maker like Sigma. Sigma's new 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens now incorporates HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) - a quieter and speedy AF - with full time manual focusing capability and much superior lens construction. At twice the cost of the previous model, ($1,400 retail, $900 street) does it warrant the upgrade? We dropped by Sigma during PMA 2009 to find out more.
The Sigzilla was back on show again this year, but with a different support. At PMA 2009 it appeared on a very tight-fitting Wimberley Ver II, so now wildlife photographers know they'll need no custom mounting if they want the fastest Autofocus 500mm at F2.8 ever built. On the other hand, not that you could afford one, or the behemoth optics were even practical on the field, 5D Mark II owners might have compatibility issues with the earth-green bazooka.
We met with Craig Strong, the co-founder and brain behind the Lensbaby's ingenious selective focusing SLR lens at PMA 2009. Craig invited us to test out the composer and the complimentary 0.42x Super Wide lens as part their Optical swap system, and that was hard to refuse. Why not? The show was slow anyway, Yes Sir. Give me an EF mount.
Canon may have slowly losing its professional-ground in DSLR camera’s market, but not in optics department. From the last few years, they have redesigned, and in most cases, introduced a variety of premium L-prime from 800mm 5.6L, 200mm F2.0L IS, 85mm II 1.2L , 50mm II 1.2L to a decently pair of 17mm and 24mm tilt-shirt lens.
If you were an architecture or a landscape photographer, you would love that 17mm Tilt-Shirt lens. Pairing it with the cheapest 21mp available -- 5D mark II -- would result in the world’s widest 35mm format angle of view setup; but as expected, the new L glasses will cost you an arm and a leg as usual. They are up at Amazon for pre-order and are priced at $2,499 and $2199 for the 17mm and 24mm II, respectively.
In today’s image sensor standard, image qualities are nearly identical from one technology to another, availability of glasses is more important, at least to me. The 17mm tilt shift godness really got me thinking about robbing a bank or two. ( smiley )