Tamron intros fast aperture Macro lens – SP AF 60mm ƒ/2 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1

Typical macro lenses -- normal to telephoto focus length range – usually have maximum aperture at F2.8 or slower, with the exception of Olympus Zuiko Digital 50mm F2.0 ( Four Thirds lens) at one stop faster. Tamron has today announced the development of SP AF 60mm ƒ/2 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1. Like the Olympus, it’s a digitally optimized Macro lens featuring a bright maximum aperture of ƒ/2.0.

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Meike’s 1.4x teleconverter spotted at PMA 2009, hands-on

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.

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Olympus outs firmware for Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6

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.

PMA 2009 : Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Quick Look

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.

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Sigma new 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM hands-on : sharpness at wide open

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.

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SigZilla 200-500mm F2.8 incompatible with 5D Mark II ?

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.

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