by Adam Plowden | 22nd September 2016
Sigma continue the high performing ART lens range with an ultra-wide Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART lens, promising no distortion. Landscape scenes, architecture and large spaces can be captured in even wider angles with the new 12-24mm f/4 ART lens, with zero distortion according to Sigma’s tests. The lens is designed for full frame and has a uniquely designed front element that aids in reducing the ‘fish-eye’ look. Aspherical lenses with low dispersion glass (equivalent to flourite in performance) help minimize distortion, chromatic aberration, pin cushion effect and flaring. The body is weather sealed, and the front and rear lenses have splash proof coating. The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART lens will be available in EF, Nikon and SA mount, but with the soon coming MC-11 mount converter you can use the lens on E-mount cameras like the Sony a7S II and FS5. The only comparable lens on the market right now is probably the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 lens. But with the ART lens series quality we’ve seen before, the promise of no distortion and a pricetag almost half of the Canon, the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART lens is certainly an intriguing product for many video shooters and photographers alike. Here are the specs of the lens: 16 elements in 11 groups Aperture of f/4 to f/22 No hard stop focus ring Angle of view – 122 degrees to 84.1 degrees. Minimum focus distance of 24cm. 9 aperture blades Weighing in at 1150g/40.6oz Splash proof front and rear lenses. 102mm front diameter. The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART lens will be available in October 2016 and is available for pre-order now.Read more
by Fabian Chaundy | 2nd August 2016
This week has started with a bang in terms of new announcements regarding optics. Two new impressive sounding prime lenses have been announced with very interesting specs: the Samyang 35mm f1.2, and the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8. These have certainly been busy times for Samyang, with a new XEEN as well as the introduction of the first autofocus lenses to their catalogue (which you can read about here and here). Well, they just keep on going, as they have just announced their new 35mm f/1.2 prime. Although it is a faster lens than their previous 35mm f/1.4, this new f/1.2 is designed for APS-C sized sensors, meaning it will vignette heavily if you use it on a full-frame camera or want to use it with a Speedbooster. The lens has been designed with mirrorless cameras in mind, with available mounts consisting of Sony E mount, Micro Four Thirds, Fujifilm X and Canon M. In good Samyang tradition, the lens will be available in 2 configurations: either as a fully manual photo lens, or as a cine lens (meaning probably a declicked aperture and gears for a follow focus). And, also following the Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex tradition, this lens will be quite affordable, with an RRP of 449 and 499 Euros for the photo and cine versions respectively. Below you can find the Samyang 35mm f/1.2 spec sheet: Another quite interesting announcement that took place this week is Venus Optics’ new Laowa 12mm f/2.8. This lens ticks quite a few boxes that certainly make it one to look out for, not the least of which is its size. It’s tiny! With a 12mm full-frame(!) coverage, this lens is very wide indeed. The manufacturer claims that the lens boasts close-to-zero optical distortion, maintaining rectilinear characteristics rather than being a fisheye lens. I’m personally a big fan of the the full frame ultra wide angle aesthetic. This 12mm lens will allow you to capture images like the one below: Ultra wide angle lenses like these tend to be slower. However, it looks like the Laowa 12mm will be also usable in low light, and a maximum aperture of f/2.8 means the Laowa can lay claim to being the world’s fastest 12mm lens for full frame for now. With mounts available for Canon EF, Sony E and Alpha, Nikon F and Pentax K, this gives you the possibility of using a Speedbooster on a crop sensor camera for even faster wide angle shots. One would maybe expect a lens with such extreme qualities to be incredibly expensive, but the Laowa 12mm may surprise you. Although its Kickstarter campaign had some sweet deals (like the opportunity to get the lens for $1), you may still find there are a few lenses available for preorder at a discount from the $949 retail price. Below is the spec sheet for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8: Venus Optics also announced two useful accessories for their new prime lens. A common trade-off of ultra wide angle lenses is the lack of a frontal filter thread, which the manufacturer has solved with their filter holder for 2x 100mm filters and 1x circular polariser. Venus Optics has also announced a Shift Converter that expands the image circle by 10mm at the expense of some light. The result? A 17mm f/4 lens with a +/- 10mm shift capability with no vignetting. These will go for $50 and $300 respectively. Click here for more info on these products, and make sure to check out people’s first impressions of this lens here and here. Do any of these primes tickle your fancy? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
by Sebastian Wöber | 18th March 2012
This information has been floating around, but it’s a lens so impressive it deserves our attention. A 15mm ultra wide angle lens that covers a full frame sensor. That alone is an impressive perspective. But usually such wide angle glass is prone to distortion and poor image quality due to the extreme field of view. Apperently not the Distagon 15mm t2.8. This fine lens from the Zeiss labs has some special, “abnormal” glass that will control distortion “extremely well” and allegedly even at wide open aperture the nasty chromatic abberation is “virtually not there“. They had me convinced until I saw the pricetag of $2950. Urgh. That’s a lot for a photo lens, but then again this surely isn’t an ordinary one. As usual it’s available as Distagon 15mm ZF for Nikon and Distagon 15mm ZE for Canon.Read more
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