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Leaked Photos Show the Upcoming Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

is moving all three dials on the top of the to the right side and replacing the one on the left with an on/off switch and what appears to be a function button.

 

Back in January 2014, Olympus expanded its OM-D mirrorless camera lineup by introducing the affordable E-M10, touted as “the OM-D for all.” By eschewing weather-sealing and some other features, Olympus was able to shave hundreds of dollars off the price tag. Now, as the original E-M10 nears its 2nd birthday, Olympus is ready to announce its successor, the E-M10 Mark II.Digicam-info just published the first leaked photos of the upcoming camera. It will reportedly also be available in silver and black, and will feature a redesigned physical interface and grip.

Curated from Leaked Photos Show the Upcoming Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

 

Nikon has officially produced its 95-millionth Nikkor lens

The milestone comes eight months after announced it had produced its 90-millionth lens, keeping with roughly the same production rate from the previous five milestones (Nikon announces milestones at each 5 million mark.

 

Unlike , Nikon doesn’t tell what lens was the 95-millionth produced. Instead Nikon’s press release announcing the milestone focuses on mentioning a number of new technologies and lenses that have made an appearance over the past year or so.

 

Most notably, Nikon mentions new coating technologies, its Phase Fresnal technology, its use of lighter and smaller fluorite elements and more. A few of the lens mentioned include Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR, and its AF-S DX NIKKOR 16–80mm f/2.8–4E ED VR, all three of which we covered earlier this month.

 

Considering Nikon’s current pace, it looks like May or June of 2016 will be the centennial mark in terms of millions of lenses sold. We’ll be sure to keep you updated. To see the full press release, head on over to Nikon Rumors’ post by clicking here.

 

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Earlier this month Canon announced it had produced it’s 110-millionth EF lens. Today, Nikon reached a similar milestone, announcing the Tokyo-based company has produced its 95-millionth Nikkor lens.

 

 

Kenko releases new 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters for Canon EF/EF-S lenses

The Kenko Teleplus 1.4x HD DGX is made up of three elements in 2 groups and weighs in at 110g with a 25mm barrel length. It offers full autofocus operation on lenses with an maximum aperture of f/4 or brighter, with the exception of ’s EF 50mm f/1.8. Exposure is adjusted by one stop and aperture diaphragm coupling is fully automatic. The Teleplus 1.4x HD DGX Teleconverter is set to go on sale for £219 ($340 USD).

The Kenko Teleplus 2.0x HD DGX is made up of 5 elements in 3 groups and weighs in at 157g with a 35.8mm barrel length. The 2.0x HD DGX improves upon its 1.4x counterpart by offering full autofocus operation for lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or brighter, with the same exception for Canon’s 50mm f/1.8. Naturally, the 2.0x HD DGX reduces exposure by two stops. The Teleplus 2.0x HD DGX Teleconverter is set to go on sale for £219 ($340 USD)

Keno provides a helpful document to check whether your and lens combination are compatible with its latest teleconverters, which you can find by clicking here.

Stuart Wood – In Focus

This #In Focus interview is with Stuart Wood and was conducted by Sarah Fitzgerald-Jones.  Sarah says :- I was very fortunate to do this interview with the incredible award winning photographer Stuart Wood. I was blown away by his work and would even confess to being a little star struck by him! A really genuine […]

Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Lens Review

This manual focus telephoto lens offers a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture for a price of around £136, which seems very good value for a lens of this type. So what’s the catch?

Kaili Kelda are a Chinese company who produce a variety of budget-orientated basic manual focus lenses. This lens is available to and SLRs. In this review, we’ll take a look at how it performs.

Given the price of this lens, you’d be forgiven for having low expectations of almost every aspect of this lens. A mix of high-quality plastics with a lightly textured finish and metal have been used for much of the lens barrel, with a red ring placed near the front end of the optic. This lens isn’t overly heavy for one sporting a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture either, tipping the scales at 385g. As a result it balances well with the Nikon D600 body used for testing.

The manual focus ring feels a little gritty in operation, although there is enough resistance in the mechanism to help with applying fine focus adjustments. Closest focus is 85cm, which is fairly typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. 72mm filters can be attached to the deep circular hood supplied with this lens, or 55mm filters can be attached directly to the lens. The filter thread does not rotate, which makes it ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters.

This lens has no electronic or mechanical coupling with the camera, so stop down metering has to be used when shooting. The aperture ring has values marked at seemingly arbitrary values, with the distance between stops getting less as the lens is stopped down more. The values marked on the aperture ring don’t quite line up with the click stops either, which may cause confusion when using smaller apertures.

Surprisingly, this lens isn’t a bad performer. At maximum aperture, sharpness is very good in the centre of the frame and fairly good towards the edges. Stopping down improves performance with outstanding sharpness being achieved in the centre at f/4.5 and excellent sharpness towards the edges at f/6.

Chromatic aberrations are kept under control, hovering at around half a pixel width towards the edges of the frame for most aperture settings. These low levels of fringing should be difficult to spot, even in very large prints, or harsh crops from the edges of the frame.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. The corners are 1.3 stops darker than the image centre at f/1.8 and visually uniform illumination isn’t achieved until the aperture is stopped down to f/3.5 or beyond.

Imatest only detected 0.13% pincushion distortion, which is an extremely low amount and should very rarely need correction in image editing software afterwards.

The supplied circular hood does a good job of shielding the lens from extraneous light that may cause issues with flare, however, shooting into the light does result in a noticeable loss of contrast.

With a price of only £136, this lens is very inexpensive indeed. The closest equivalent currently available Samyang’s manual focus 85mm f/1.4 lens, which is available for around £211 and sports a faster maximum aperture and overall better build and handling. Nikon’s 85mm f/1.8G costs around £350 and Canon’s EF 85mm USM can be picked up for £240.

With a price of only £136, you’d be forgiven for having poor expectations of this lens. As far as build quality and handling are concerned, you can see where corners have been cut with the gritty manual focus ring, bizarre range of apertures and an aperture ring that doesn’t line up properly with the printed markings.

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

Chromatic aberration is the lens’ inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

This month, 10 members have the chance to have 1000 photos scanned for free by Vintage Photo Lab! Vintage Photo Lab specialise in bulk scanning for your old photo…

 

 

Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM announced

Sigma has today announced the pricing and availability for its Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM. The lens is priced at £949.99 and is available from the end of July in a Sigma and mount, with the mount to be announced at a later date.

The lens is the manufacturer’s premium ‘Art’ series, featuring a world-first combination of a fixed maximum aperture of f/2 across a traditional wide-angle zoom range.

As Sigma points out, this combination covers the range of three of their stand-alone optics – the 24mm, 28mm and 35mm – offering the f/2 maximum aperture at each of these focal lengths.

The 24-35mm features a minimum focusing distance of 28cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.4, making it useful for close-up shooting, portraits with an attractive Bokeh, and deep-focus landscape photography.

 

The aesthetic differences between umbrellas, reflectors and softboxes

As part of their OnSet video series, Adorama has shared a helpful tutorial showing off the difference between three of the most popular light modifiers available: umbrellas, reflectors and softboxes.

In the two and a half minute video, photographer Daniel Norton concisely explains what it is each light modifier is designed to do, how you can use each modifier and what the aesthetic changes are between the varying uses of each modifier. There isn’t much to the video, but it’s beauty and value is in its simplicity.

 

 

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Review

This ultra-wide angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system cameras provides an angle of view equivalent to a 14-28mm lens used on a 35mm format and sports a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range. The lens is also dust and splash proof and is available from around £1000 at the time of writing. In this review we’ll take a look at how it performs.

The lens barrel is constructed from high quality, robust materials with a glossy finish and the bayonet is metal with a rubber gasket to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture into the camera body. Despite the robust construction and constant f/2.8 aperture the lens only weighs 534g. This makes the lens an ideal companion for the Panasonic Lumix G6 body used for testing.

Focusing is performed internally, although due to the bulbous front element, necessary to provide such a wide field of view there is no filter thread. Sliding back the focus ring reveals a distance scale and automatically changes the camera to manual focus mode, which is ideal for applying quick adjustments. However, it is quite easy to nudge this by accident when changing lenses, so care needs to be taken to ensure the lens is in the correct mode for shooting. The minimum focus distance is 20cm throughout the zoom range, which is ideal for close ups, or shooting in claustrophobic environments.

At 12mm sharpness is already outstanding in the centre of the frame and excellent towards the edges. The performance of the lens at this focal length is limited by diffraction, so there is nothing to be gained in sharpness by stopping down.

Zooming to 10mm results in a slight reduction in sharpness at maximum aperture, although performance is still excellent across the frame at maximum aperture. Stopping down to f/4 results in outstanding sharpness in the centre of the frame and excellent clarity towards the edges.

Finally, at 14mm sharpness is very good in the centre and good towards the edges of the frame at maximum aperture. Stopping down to between f/4 and f/5.6 results in excellent clarity in the centre and very good performance towards the edges for this focal length.

Chromatic aberrations are extremely well controlled throughout most of the zoom range for this kind of lens. Fringing barely exceeds half a pixel width, which should make these chromatic aberrations difficult to spot.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is also well controlled. At 7mm and f/2.8 the comers are 1.52 stops darker than the centre of the image and at 14mm the corners are only 1.27 stops darker than the image centre. Stopping down to f/5.6 results in visually uniform illumination across the frame throughout the zoom range.

Distortion is well corrected in camera, but without corrections applied, detected 1.73% barrel distortion at 7mm which reduces to 0.61% at 14mm. The distortion pattern is uniform across the frame throughout the zoom range, which should make applying corrections in image editing software afterwards fairly straightforward.

A petal-shaped hood is built onto the front of the lens, which does a reasonable job of shading the lens from extraneous light that may cause issues with loss of contrast or flare. Strong sources of light in the frame, such as the sun can cause flare and a noticeable loss of contrast.

Currently, this lens is available for around £1000, which is good value for a lens of this quality. There is no direct equivalent currently available for Micro Four Thirds cameras, with the closest alternative being Panasonic’s 7-14mm f/4 lens, which costs around £800.

Given the ‘Pro’ moniker assigned to this lens, expectations of its build and performance should be high. During testing this lens proved itself worthy, by delivering images with outstanding sharpness, whilst handling well and sporting a robust dust and moisture resistant construction. The lens may be a little prone to flare, but given the extreme angle of view on offer and the compact size of the lens, this flaw may be something many will be able to forgive, or even forget.

Outstanding sharpness from maximum apertureRelatively compact and lightweightRobust buildDust and splash proofQuick access for manual focusGood valueExcellent control of CA

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

Chromatic aberration is the lens’ inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

 

 

30,000 back petition against ‘barking’ European copyright plan, as MEP behind proposal speaks out

As we reported earlier this week, there are growing fears that proposed changes to European copyright law will require photographers to obtain permission from architects – and possibly pay them royalties – before publishing pictures of tourist attractions such as the London Eye and The Shard, even just on Facebook.

The change.org petition against the plans was started by German photographer Nico Trinkhaus who called on MEPs to bring Freedom of Panorama to all European countries and ‘not limit the Freedom of Panorama in any way’.

In a separate post on Facebook Trinkhaus explained that he started the petition to raise awareness of an issue first highlighted by Germany’s Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda.

‘This would have a huge effect on many kinds of photographers, on myself and maybe even on everyone who just shares a photo on Facebook,’ claimed Trinkhaus.

He added, ‘So far I have not heard about any architect who complained about the petition. I think they understand the difference. An architect gets paid as the building is built. A photographer most of the time shoots first and gets paid later.’

MEP at centre of copyright storm speaks outMeanwhile, the French MEP who first tabled the controversial proposal, Jean-Marie Cavada, has responded to the furore surrounding the issue.

Raphaël Dorgans, Cavada’s parliamentary assistant claimed that no-one in Europe has thus far been sued for commercial use of images not covered by Freedom of Panorama – which protects photographers in certain EU countries.

Dorgans told AP: ‘Contrary to what Ms Reda says, Mr Cavada’s amendment would not have far-reaching consequences for internet users who upload their photos on line.’

He added: ‘At the present time, in the EU Member States which don’t have any exception for Freedom of Panorama – and which indeed currently require their citizens to get an authorisation before making a commercial use of a picture of a work located in the public space (i.e. Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Slovenia) – not a single European citizen has been sued after having posted such pictures online, just as in the EU Member States which implemented an exception for Freedom of Panorama (i.e. Germany, Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, the UK and Slovakia).’

‘And consequently, the legal liability of dealing with the potential copyrights of the pictures they upload weigh on the users’ shoulders. We consider that this situation is outrageous.’

Cavada’s representative suggested his office would support a law where Facebook itself, rather than its users, would be responsible for asking the right’s holders for authorisation to use images commercially, and possibly pay them royalties.

‘He only struggles for a fair remuneration for artists and to stop the copyright abuses used by internet service providers such as Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc.’

In April, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy called for a review of the liability of service providers with regard to copyright.

Dorgans said: ‘So, should they use these pictures for commercial use, they would have to ask for the authorisation of the right holders, and they may have to give them a financial compensation.

Mr Cavada is lying again. Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain have full Freedom of Panorama, meaning that images are freely re-usable for any purpose.

 

 

Olympus E-M5 II Review: Is this the best argument yet for the Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera?

And now, we can bring the story to its end as we finalize our review. We’ve dotted the last few ‘i’s, crossed the last ‘t’s, and added both our in-depth image quality analysis and our final thoughts on the E-M5 II. But what is our verdict: Is this a good , or a truly great one? For the answer to that question, you’ll want to read both of our in-depth Shooter’s Reports, as well as the conclusion itself.

Early in 2012, took its mirrorless camera line in a new direction with the enthusiast-friendly OM-D E-M5. Now, as we complete our Olympus E-M5 II review, it’s time for us to cast judgement on the camera which takes the OM-D series to the next level with an ever more feature-packed design.

Sporting upgrades throughout — including a spectacularly impressive new multi-shot high resolution mode which merits an entire page to itself in our review — the Olympus E-M5 II understandably generated a lot of excitement when it launched last February. And we were no less excited ourselves, because once we’d familiarized ourselves with its control-packed body, the E-M5 II captivated us in a way that few cameras can. It was just plain fun to shoot with, and we think that showed in our photos!