Sigma 50mm F/1.4 ART announced

Sigma has announced a new lens: 50mm F/1.4 ART, a fast “normal” prime lens for full-frame cameras. Last year’s 35mm F/1.4 ART is a huge success, and if this new 50mm is built on the same quality level, Sigma might have another best seller. This lens might be especially interesting for Canon users since all current Canon 50mm lenses have some drawbacks (50mm F/1.8 has a cheap plastic build quality, 50 F/1.4 is more than 20 years old optical design and 50L F/1.2 is way too expensive for most people).

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New Canon Powershots have arrived with minor updates

Canon has announced plenty of new gear most of which is actually old gear. Confused? Don’t be, it quite normal these days for any consumer electronics company to release new product that is essentially the same as old one with just some minor upgrades. Canon PowerShot G16 and S120 are Canon’s latest premium compact cameras, with G16 having now WiFi connection and S120 got slightly faster lens.

Popular PowerShot SX500 got a better sensor and is now called SX510 HS and SX160 IS got a Li-Ion battery and is now called SX170 IS. There is also a new lens – Canon EF-S 55-250 F/4-5.6 IS STM which is essentially the same as the old 55-250 but now has a silent step motor auto focus (STM).

Read more after the break:

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Sigma 18-35 F/1.8 only $799!!!

No, this is not a typo, nor mine nor did Sigma drop a digit… The extraordinary 18-35 APS-C zoom with constant F/1.8 aperture is going to sale for only $799! Some first previews reported stellar performance, and since this is the world’s first F/1.8 zoom lens we all expected it to cost upward from $1500, but Sigma has its own ideas. I still wouldn’t call this a game changer… full frame is still full frame and no crop sensor can actually match its performance, but this lens might be a very strong reason for many photographers to stay on APS-C cameras. Considering the quality and features of the Nikon D7100 (my review of D7100 is coming within days), and the fact Canon will probably soon announce 70D and 7D MkII, this lens will give you a really good image quality for a small price.

I wrote about this lens when it was announced – click here to read more about it.

Sigma USB dock demo video released

Sigma recently released a demo video showing software of the late USB lens docking station in action. This dock is a very special product as it will allow users to adjust focus if there is a need for it (usually there is). Almost all modern DSLR cameras have the option to adjust AF accuracy, but often only as a single setting for every lens. This is a problem with zoom lenses since most tend to missfocus by different degree depending where in the zoom or focus range they are. Sigma USB dock will allow to set AF compensation at up to 4 focal lengths and at 4 different focus positions independently. There is also an option to adjust optical stabilization , focus limiter and AF speed. Click “continue reading” to view video:

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A surprise out of clear blue sky: Sigma announces 18-35mm F/1.8 lens!

While the big two (Canon & Nikon) successfully pursue the image of boring traditional companies, others like Sigma try to be inventive and gain a piece of market for themselves. Today, Sigma announced a new extraordinary lens: the 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM for APS-C sized sensors. Yes, this is not a typo; this zoom lens has constant F/1.8 aperture. As far as I know, no other photography lens has such aperture, the closest being Olympus with the two of their F/2 zoom lenses. Update: price is announced and it is only $799!

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Three new Sony NEX lenses announced

Today is a day for Sony announcements. After RX1 full frame compact, next in line are three new NEX lenses; a wide angle 10-18 f/4, callapsable 16-50 power zoom and a 35mm f/1.8 prime lens. With the latest additions, a popular NEX system has 13 lens options (together with wide and fisheye adapters for 16mm).

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What is expected at 2012 photokina?

Photokina is the world’s biggest and most anticipated imaging fair that takes place every two years in a German town of Cologne (Köln). Industry leaders, traders, professionals and amateur photographers will all gather at September 18 to view and try the latest photographic equipment on the market. I have prepared a short list of expected announcements and rumors. Some cameras or lenses might be announced before the show, but the public will be able to see them for the first time at the fair.

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SONY DT 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SAL TELEPHOTO LENS

Sony has announced a new DT telephoto lens – SAL55-300 f/4.5-5.6. DT designation indicates it is usable only on APS-C sensor that require smaller image circle than full frame sensors. In 35mm equivalent, this lens has a reach of 82 – 450mm, which makes it 5.5x zoom lens. The zoom range makes it usable for many shooting scenarios, from wildlife and sport to portraits, both still image and video and will ideally complement 18-55 kit lens sold with most Sony SLT’s or DSLR’s.

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OLYMPUS MICRO ZUIKO 75 f/1.8 PORTRAIT LENS

Latest addiction to the range of micro 4/3 mount lenses is this new 75mm f/1.8 single-focal lens. With its 150mm field of view (in 35mm equivalent) and large f/1.8 aperture it is optimized for studio or outdoor low-light portraits, indoor sports or concert/stage photography. It should deliver beautiful out of focus backgrounds thanks to nine blade aperture. Optical design incorporates 10 lens elements in nine groups, including three ED (Extra-low Dispersion)  elements to correct aberrations. Continue reading