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Press Release: Fuji Officially Announces X-T1 with Interchangeable Lens and Weather-Resistant



The Fujifilm X-T1 makes its official debut. Inside the X-T1′s retro body you’ll find the newest generation Fuji's 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor, an EXR Processor II, built-in WiFi, a 1.04 million dot high-precision 3-inch tempered glass tilting LCD and a built-in wide-angle 2.36M dot OLED EVF with the world’s highest magnification for a digital camera (0.77x) and a short lag time of 0.005 seconds.

The X-T1 ships next month for $1,299 for the body only, and $1,699 for the camera and the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens. You can pre-order yours today at the following authorized retailers:

Fuji X-T1 Body Only: B&H Photo | Adorama
Fuji X-T1 with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 Lens: B&H Photo | Adorama

The weather-resistant lenses will arrive sometime this year, but no specific pricing and availability info has been released yet. Until they arrive, you can use the X-T1 with any of the current X-Series lenses.


Continue reading for full press release and you can also find more information by visiting Fuji.com.


X-T1 features a huge, real-time OLED viewfinder, extreme AF speed, and premium craftsmanship for photographic freedom anywhere

Valhalla, N.Y., January 27, 2014 – As a leader in advanced digital camera technology and outstanding image resolution, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X-T1, a weather-resistant premium interchangeable lens camera with a large OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) that delivers a near-instant image preview, the latest generation 16.3 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and the segment’s fastest autofocus of 0.08 seconds*1 for a truly remarkable photographic experience anywhere.

The FUJIFILM X-T1 now gives professional and enthusiast photographers the award-winning imaging power of the X-Series in a water, dust and temperature resistant body that braves outdoor challenges like never before.

OLED viewfinder perfection
The FUJIFILM X-T1 combines a unique wide-angle 2.36m dot resolution OLED view with the world’s highest magnification (0.77x) for a digital camera*2 and shortest display lag-time of just 0.005sec*3 to react as quickly as you need in any environment.

The OLED viewfinder also includes cutting-edge technology to bring users even closer to their subjects. The X-T1’s viewfinder uses a newly designed Graphic User Interface that provides an exciting shooting experience with clear details and a comfortable at-a-glance view of your settings.

The X-T1 has four OLED EVF Display Modes:
  • "FULL" mode takes full advantage of the high magnification ratio of the X-T1's viewfinder to give an unrivalled view of the scene
  • "NORMAL" provides an optimum view, including shooting settings
  • "DUAL" is specially designed for manual focusing with a clever split view. The regular view and manual focus area can be simultaneously checked (with Digital Split ImageTM or Focus Peak Highlight)*4
  • “PORTRAIT” view in “NORMAL" and “FULL” modes automatically rotates the displayed information when the camera is held vertically
Award-winning 16.3 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II
The FUJIFILM X-T1 uses the award-wining EXR Processor II and X-Trans™ CMOS II sensor with built in phase detection that delivers an astonishing response time of just 0.08 seconds and a super-fast 0.5 second start-up time*5, along with a 0.05 second shutter time lag and a 0.5 second shooting interval*6.

The X-T1 can also shoot up to 8 frames per second*7 with tracking AF and is the first-ever CSC*8 to be compatible with SDXC UHS-II format memory cards for data writing speed (in Continuous Mode) that is approximately twice that of a conventional SD card.

Tough, weather-resistant design
The FUJIFILM X-T1 is the first weather-resistant X-Series CSC (when used with a weather-resistant lens) that performs in a wide range of challenging environments. The X-T1 uses more than 75 points of weather sealing, and the camera body is dust-resistant and water-resistant. The X-T1 is also freezeproof to -14°F for full-fledged field photography work, while the premium clear 3” LCD screen with 1.04 million dot resolution is made of tempered glass for additional outdoor protection.

Traditional handling, modern response
With five mechanical dials on the top-plate, two command dials; one on the front and one on the rear, and six fully customizable function buttons, the FUJIFILM X-T1 feels and functions like a proper photographic tool in the hand. The top-plate includes two machined-aluminum double-deck dials for the shutter speed and metering, and the ISO sensitivity and drive modes, and each is designed to turn with a reassuring click, while their textured surfaces gives a firm confirmation when setting up a shot.

With their exposure values clearly marked, the X-T1’s settings can be checked at a glance without using the rear LCD and the dials are perfectly arranged so that functions can be changed without removing your eye from the viewfinder. The six customizable function buttons and two command-dials arranged on the front and rear complete the picture, ensuring instant setting satisfaction.

WiFi and remote camera operation
The X-T1 one-touch WiFi connectivity lets you easily share images to your smartphone or tablet – pictures that these devices cannot capture - and remote shooting via smartphone or tablet using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app for unique capture opportunities.

Additional grip and weather resistant lenses
The optional vertical battery grip (VG-XT1) has the same hardy structure as the X-T1, so when added to the body, it is completely secured against the elements.

Fujifilm is launching three weather-resistant zoom lenses to complement the X-T1 camera in 2014, including the XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R OIS WR, XF16-55mmF2.8 R OIS WR and the XF50-140mmF2.8 R OIS WR.

FUJIFILM X-T1 key features list:
  • 16.3 million Megapixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor
  • Dust and water-resistant body with more than 75 points of weather sealing. Freeze resistance to -14°F
  • EXR Processor II
o World’s fastest AF of 0.08 seconds
o Startup time of 0.5 seconds
o Shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds
o Shooting interval of 0.5 seconds
o Phase detection AF and motion predictive AF for continuous shooting up to 8 frames per second
  • High-precision 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder
o Highest viewfinder magnification for digital cameras of 0.77x
o Wide viewing angle (diagonal 38° and horizontal 31°)
o Ultra-fast Real Time Viewfinder with a lag-time of 0.005sec (less than 1/10 of existing models)
  • Four different display modes: Full, Normal, Dual and Vertical.
o Full mode: Displays shooting information at the top and bottom of the screen to avoid obstruction of the view
o Dual mode: Adds a small second screen for checking focus point with Focus Peak Highlight or Digital Split Image
o Normal mode: Lets you concentrate on framing the shot in Auto Focus mode while keeping you aware of how the shooting conditions are changing, making it the perfect setting for sports and action photography
o Portrait mode: When in Full or Normal modes, it rotates the shooting information interface when the camera is turned vertically
  • Tempered glass 1.04 million dot high-precision 3” tilting LCD monitor
  • Digital Split Image and Focus Highlight Peaking
  • World’s first compatibility with Ultra High Speed UHS-II SD memory cards
  • Vertical battery grip VG-XT1 and three new zoom lenses offer the same weather resistance to secure the entire system
  • Redesigned circuit board design enables high ISO 51200 setting*9
  • ISO200 - 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600, Auto(maximum ISO setting from ISO 400 – ISO6400 available)
  • Lens Modulation Optimizer technology maximizes each lens’ performance
  • In-camera RAW converter
  • Die-cast magnesium body provides a sturdy and durable, while compact and lightweight design
  • Body and grip designed for correct balance when attaching telephoto and large-diameter lenses
  • Two command dials and six Function buttons for instant control and customization
  • Interval timer shooting for Time Lapse photography is available with intervals of 1 second to 24 hours and up to 999 frames
FUJIFILM X-T1 accessories:
  • Dedicated all-leather case BLC-XT1 New
  • Vertical battery grip VG-XT1 New
  • Hand Grip MHG-XT New
  • Four dedicated flash models to choose from depending on requirements (EF-X8 New, EF-X20, EF-20, EF-42)
  • Protector filters (PRF-39, PRF-52, PRF-58, PRF-62 and PRF-72 (For XF10-24mmF4 R OIS) New)
  • DC coupler CP-W126 NEW
  • AC adapter AC-9V NEW
  • M Mount Adapter for additional lens compatibility
  • Remote release RR-90
  • Stereo Microphone MIC-ST1
  • The FUJIFILM X-T1 (body only) will be available for $1,299.95, and the X-T1 with the XF18mm-55mm (27-84mm) F2.8-4 lens (kit) will be available for $1699.95, both in February 2014.
The FUJIFILM X-T1 uses the same FUJIFILM X-Mount as the X-Pro1, X-E2, X-E1, X-M1 and X-A1, and all FUJIFILM XF and XC lenses work with all X-Series interchangeable lens cameras.

The current Fujifilm lens family includes the following FUJINON XF and XC lenses:
  • XF 14mm F2.8 R
  • XF 18mm F2.0 R
  • XF 23mm F1.4 R
  • XF 27mm F2.8
  • XF 35mm F1.4 R
  • XF 56mmF1.2 R
  • XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro
  • XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
  • XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS
  • XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
  • XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS
  • XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS
*1: Fastest AF speed among digital cameras equipped with an APS-C or larger sensor. Measurement conducted by Fujifilm research based on CIPA guidelines using the X-T1 equipped with XF14mmF2.8 R lens in High Performance mode as of January 2014
*2: Highest VF magnification ratio among digital cameras. Fujifilm research as of January 2014. Approx. 0.77x magnification with a 50mm lens (35mm format equivalent) set to infinity and -1.0DP
*3: Fujifilm research as of January 2014
*4: “X-Trans” and “Digital Sprit Image” are a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation.
*5: Equipped with XF27mmF2.8 in High Performance mode
*6: MF mode *7: AF-C shooting mode
*8: RAW shooting mode
*9: Expended output sensitivity

Press Release: Nikon Lens Production Reaches 85 Million



Total Production of NIKKOR Lenses for Nikon Interchangeable Lens Cameras Reaches 85 Million

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that total production of NIKKOR and 1 NIKKOR lenses for Nikon D-SLR and Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, respectively, has reached 85 million in January 2014. For more than 80 years, NIKKOR lenses have set the standard for sharpness, reliability and image quality for both casual shooters and professional photographers alike.Nikon has steadily expanded its lineup of NIKKOR lenses in the past year, incorporating advanced optical technologies cultivated over a storied eighty-year history.

In August 2013, Nikon announced the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, a versatile 7.8x high-power zoom lens compatible with DX-format D-SLR cameras, while in November, Nikon introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, a fast FX-format offering capable of elite low-light performance, earning accolades for its ability to minimize sagittal coma flare*(1). In January 2014, Nikon announced two new NIKKOR lenses including a new compact and lightweight zoom lens, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II for DX-format shooters, featuring a retractable lens design for maximum convenience. Also introduced was another addition to Nikon’s acclaimed f/1.8 lens lineup, the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, a versatile fixed focal-length prime ready to thrive in any shooting situation.

Nikon also released the world’s first*(2) waterproof and shockproof 1 NIKKOR lenses, the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 (included in the Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof zoom lens kit) and the 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8, alongside the Nikon 1 AW1 camera. With eleven total lenses included in the 1 NIKKOR lens lineup, Nikon remains committed to expanding and enriching the lens offerings for Nikon 1 shooters.

September 2013 marked the deployment of Nikon’s Optical Performance and Total Image Analyzer (OPTIA), a new measurement device that is able to measure all forms of aberration in interchangeable lenses for cameras, as well as a dedicated image simulator. Using OPTIA and the dedicated image simulator not only offers greater control over resolution, but also enables the development of lenses with more control over varying characteristics of each individual lens.

Review: Plasticase NANUK 925 Hard Case with Cubed Foam and Padded Dividers



Overview : NANUK cases are designed to protect the most sensitive equipment in the harshest environments. Whether battling the scorching heat of the Sahara desert or the bone chilling cold of the arctic, every detail of NANUK has been refined and perfected to offer the utmost in protection and performance. From our high-impact NK-7 resin to our PowerClaw latches, NANUK has been engineered and manufactured to stringent military specifications to surpass the needs of the most demanding users. These virtually indestructible, lightweight, watertight cases offer the ultimate grade of protection in a variety of sizes, configurations and colors. Complimented by a large selection of optional accessories and an incredible degree of customizability, NANUK is the best choice to move your equipment in complete security. Whether transporting valuable equipment around the world or simply protecting sensitive tools in the urban jungle, NANUK is up to the challenge.

NANUK comes loaded with innovative features. Countless hours of research and development went into defining the requirements for NANUK. The result is a line of cases that are equipped to meet today’s challenges. Responding to feedback from professionals in various fields, NANUK is the evolution of traditional protective cases. NANUK has also been designed to adapt as your needs change. Many features that are optional on other cases are standard on NANUK. By integrating attachment features into the case at the design stage, you can easily add a shoulder strap or a panel kit without modifying the case with holes or additional hardware. The attachment features are already there when you need them.

Features :
  • High quality polyurethane foam, the multi-layered set of customizable inserts includes a pre-scored removable layer. This layer consists of foam squares that can be removed in various configurations to accommodate the contents of the case.
  • Interior Dimensions NANUK 925 Case L 17 x W 11.8 x H 6.4
  • Waterproof Seal- Automatic Pressure Release Valve-100% Stainless Steel Hardware-Stackable
  • PowerClaw Latching System- Clamps the case tightly closed using compressive force while the integrated slide lock prevents the case from opening during transport or when dropped.
  • Soft Grip Foldable Handle and integrated Hardware for an Accessory Strap and Padlock (Lock and Strap Available Separately). The handle structure is molded with NK-7 resin.

Quality/Usability : I try to go to as many trade shows as I can to network and to see what new products manufacturers are announcing and showing off. Another reason is to see what new manufacturers there are. They may be new to me and to some but have been on the market for quite some time.

Plasticase who makes NANUK cases, was a company I saw at PhotoPlus Expo 2012 which is held at the Javits Center in New York City. They offer hard resin cases for those who need that extra protection similar to the well known brand, Pelican. *Tidbit: NANUK cases was featured on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


The NANUK 925 looks like a brief case but slightly bulkier and tougher. There are two latches on each side and a handle in the middle. There are also two holes next to the latches that lets you place locks. The middle handle actually locks in place so it doesn't accidentally fall down or lift up when it doesn't need to be.


Like with all hard cases that is used in extreme conditions, there is a pressure equalizer. This allows the free passage of gases and vapors, equalizing the pressure differential between the enclosure and surrounding area.


NANUK 925's locking mechanism offers an additional security feature. Rather than just lifting the latch, you'll have to press down on the silver switch. This will release the locking mechanism thus allowing you to lift the latch. A nice feature about the latch is that you can lock it in place and still be able to open your case.


When I met one of the representatives at PhotoPlus Expo 2012, I was told that the strap was very comfortable. Boy where they not kidding. Carrying all that weight and gear, you would want something that is comfortable. The neoprene shoulder strap incorporates Aircell comfort technology to reduce fatigue when transporting your case.


The interior of the 925 is fairly basic. There isn't much of the case bulging inside which is great because this offers more space. There are pre-drilled holes on the edge of the main compartment. Depending on what you're using the case for, NANUK offers a waterproof panel kit.

On the lid, there are four round velcros on each side. This helps hold the top foam cover in place.


You can choose the NANUK 925 case with Pick-N-Pluck foam or padded dividers. I prefer the dividers because this offers more flexibility when the gear is swapped out for something different. The pluck foam offers a much more sturdier protection and less movement but if you ever change your gear, you'll have to buy new foam. An example, you have a telephoto lens like the 70-200mm f2.8 and you plucked the foam to conform to the lens. But down the road, you change your type of shoot and no longer need telephoto anymore and got all primes. You can't place the foam back. Once its removed, its gone for good.

My only small complaint about the padded dividers is that the main padding that is wrapped around the case is a bit too thick. This eats up some slight space.


The NANUK 925 is a nice size when it comes to hauling a camera body and small gear. You'll be able to hold another zoom lens, a small prime lens and other small nick-nacks. But you'll have to take the lens hood off and either carry it separately, inserting it into an empty slot or just leaving it at home. Leaving the lens hood on will cause the lens to be wider. The gear above isn't all my gear but pictured is a Canon 600EX-RT, Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II and a gripped Canon 5D Mark III. Attached to my camera is a Herringbone Heritage Hand Strap and a Luma Labs Cinch 2. So if it can hold a gripped camera body, it will have no problem holding non-gripped camera bodies.

Conclusion : Overall, the Plasticase NANUK 925 Hard Case with Cubed Foam and Padded Dividers is a nice durable case. The padding is nice and thick and offers plenty of protection. If you're carrying a small amount of gear and don't need to haul a big roller, this would be the perfect size to hold a camera, flash, 1-2 lenses (without lens hood attached) and a few other essential nit-nacks.

The design is minimal, simplistic and doesn't scream out "STEAL ME". It looks like an ordinary briefcase but in a hard shell casing.

It would be nice if they also offered or made a backpack strap. You wouldn't have to worry about the case falling while you're walking or all that weight on one shoulder. At least with a backpack strap, the weight is evenly distributed. I don't think I've seen any straps offered like this for Pelican or any other manufacturer.




Manufacturer: Plasticase
Site: Buy from Amazon (Case) / Buy from B&H Photo (Case) / Buy from Amazon (Shoulder Strap) / Buy from B&H Photo (Shoulder Strap)
Price: $102.50 (Case only) / $134.95 (with Cubed Foam) / $156.50 (with Padded Divider) / $39.99 (Shoulder Strap) / $32.50 (Cubed Foam only) / $53.95 (Padded Divider only)

2014 Think Tank Photo Retrospective Laptop Case Promo


2014 Retrospective Laptop Case Promo

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced a limited special offer. Between now and February 6, 2014, when you purchase a Retrospective® Laptop Case or a Retrospective® Camera/Laptop Bag you will receive for free your choice of a PowerHouse Air or a PowerHouse Pro clear organizer.

These customizable clear cases fit power adapters, plus AC cable, pens, small cables, USB drives and other small items. Easily configure the dividers to suit your needs and stay organized. Secure each item in its own dedicated space for easy access. Keep chargers organized with divided space for the power adapter and the cable inside a clear zippered pocket. Zippered organizer pockets on the back of the case hold small adapters and cables.

Review: VARAVON Slidecam LITE 800 Roller Bearing Slider


Review: VARAVON Slidecam LITE 800 Roller Bearing Slider

Overview : The Varavon Slidecam Lite 800 is designed for shooting video with lightweight digital cameras and smartphones. As your camera smoothly rolls across the slider, you are capturing your subject at various angles. The smooth motion effect adds extra dimension to your video when shooting a static scene such as a landscape or a statue. The Slidecam Lite 800 sits on its own legs or can be mounted to a tripod. It has a 32 inch track with variable tension to control glide. It can support up to 19.8 lbs (optimal load is 6.6 lbs to 13 lbs). So it can handle anything from a compact DSLR such as a Nikon D5100 or a Canon Digital Rebel to a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mark III. Great for compact video camcorders and point & shoot cameras. You can mount an iPhone or a Smartphone to it too.

Features :
  • Smooth glide action adds motion to static scenes.
  • 32-inch slide track can handle up to 19.8 pounds (optimal load is 6.6 lbs to 13 lbs).
  • Weighs 3.3 lbs.
  • Special steel roller bearing.
  • Variable tension allows all directional positioning.
  • Fits any camera and can mount on any standard tripod.
  • Use for iPhone and Smartphones too.

Quality/Usability : As more and more cameras get better at video capabilities, so do interest in recording videos among photographers and videographers.

Ever thought of how wedding videographers get that nice smooth sliding action of the groom or bride from low angles or that smooth motion for landscape? Its achievable by using a slider. There are plenty of DIY sliders with skateboard wheels, PVC pipes or other methods but transporting big pieces of equipment can be annoying.

One of the sliders I became interested in was the Slidecam LITE 800. Varavon focuses on video accessories and is a respectable company. I decided to pick up the slidecam in the event that I thought I would need to do some videos or even use it during one of my reviews.


Included with the Slidecam LITE 800 is a carry case, slider track, two legs, pouch to store the legs, tools to tighten screws for tension and oil seal to clean and lubricate the track. The slider is made of steel so you'll know that it is durable.


On the slider track is a slider that lets you mount a ball head or fluid head on top. There's also a bubble leveler to let you know if the track is level. The red knob on the side adjusts the stiffness of the gliding action. The more you tighten the screw, the stiffer and slower the slider will glide and eventually, it will hold it in place. The looser the screw, the easier the slider will glide.


The underside of the track has a few mounting options. In the middle (middle image), there is a 3/8"-inch and 1/4"-inch screw mount that allows you to mount to the tripod. By adding it to a tripod, it provides additional height. On both ends are also 3/8"-inch and 1/4"-inch screw mounts allowing you to attach two tripods for additional support. Both ends also allows you to mount the included legs if you want to get close to the ground.


The included legs reminds me of a spider and are required when placing the slider on the ground. Each leg has a certain groove to it and can only be slid into the track one way. A screw screw is placed in the middle so that it can be screwed into each end of the slider. On each leg, there is a screw with rubber foot at the bottom. This allows you to adjust the height if you're placing the slider on an uneven surface.

As mentioned above, both ends have 3/8"-inch and 1/4"-inch screw mounts on the bottom of the slider. These screw mounts are also on the top and sides. With the screw mounts on top, you can turn the slider upside down and get even lower if needed. And with the screw mounts on the side, this allows you to place the slider vertical to give you that low to high or high to low video shot.


Once the legs are attached, the above image is the end result of what the slider will look like. You can attach any type of ball head. Once you attach a ball head, you can attach any type of camera to it.


As I mentioned before, the Slidecam LITE 800 has multiple screw mounts on the slider that allows you to mount the slider to a tripod. However, mounting the slider to a tripod can be annoying. It requires you to screw and unscrew the slider each time you want to change your setup. When doing this, it scratches and scuffs the slider. Since it has 1/4"-inch screw mounts, you can attach a quick release plate to the slider and mount it to your ball head for easy mounting and removal. This also allows more flexibility when you need to angle your slider. But by using a quick release plate and ball head to hold your slider, you'll need another ball head or fluid head to mount to the slider so that you can mount your camera.

Conclusion : Overall, the VARAVON Slidecam LITE 800 Roller Bearing Slider is a pretty good slider. It's smooth and a decent length. I like the fact that it offers multiple mounting options. If you want to mount the slider to a tripod, you'll need a ball head with quick release plate to make things easier for yourself and without scuffing the slider.




Manufacturer: Varavon
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo
Price: $295.00

Deal: Peak Design Bundles - Save up to $15 Plus Additional 10% Off



Our good friends over at Peak Design is offering some awesome bundles on their products like the Leash, Cuff, Capture/PRO, PROpad and P.O.V. Kit. You can save as much as $15 by buying them in a bundle.

So if you didn't get what you want for the holidays or have money that you got from the holidays and you're looking to spend it on something, now is the the time with these great deals!

You don't need to buy the bundles to get 10% off. You can just buy the CapturePRO and still be entitled to the great discount.

Peak Design Coupon Code Amazon TrekPak Custom SLR

Press Release: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED Lens Announcement



Nikon has officially announced the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED lens. The lens will be available on February 20, 2014 for a suggested retail price of $599.95.

You can place your pre-order from: B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon

Continue reading for full press release.

A wide-angle 35mm fixed focal length (prime) lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 compatible with the Nikon FX format

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED, a wide-angle 35mm fixed focal length (prime) lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 compatible with Nikon FX-format digital SLR cameras.

The AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED*1 is an extremely portable lens that, when used with a Nikon digital SLR camera, offers the bright viewfinder image of a fast fixed focal length lens and the beautiful blur characteristics of a shallow depth of field.

In addition, adoption of an ED lens element and an aspherical lens element, which ensure superior image quality, and optical design that controls sagittal coma flare*2 for excellent point image formation make the lens capable of maximizing the distinctive characteristics of high pixel-count digital SLR cameras with expression of the finest details.

Releasing the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED responds to a variety of needs by enriching our fast prime lens lineup covering focal lengths from wide-angle to the mid-telephoto range.
  • *1When used with a Nikon DX-format digital SLR camera, the effective angle of view is equivalent to that of a lens with a 52.5mm focal length.
  • *2A phenomenon with which the edges of pinpoint light sources in photos of night landscapes and the like are not rendered as point images, but appear distorted to resemble the outspread wings of a bird in flight
Nikon considers point-image formation with design of all NIKKOR lenses, utilizing its long history of striving for the ideal of rendering point images as sharp points. The AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, which offers superior point-image rendering from maximum aperture, was another fast, fixed focal length lens developed with this same design concept and released last year. Our lineup already includes the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G, which offers similar characteristics, and we have continued this design concept with the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED.

The AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED responds to the needs of users looking for a high-performance, wide-angle fixed focal length lens that can easily be taken anywhere, as well as those who want to enjoy capture of more impressive in portraits, night landscapes, photos of starry skies, and the like.

AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED Primary Features
  • Optical design that considers point image formation for very little sagittal coma flare
  • A new optical design utilizing ED and aspherical lens elements for superior optical performance that enables excellent resolution and contrast
  • Convenient portability with good balance when mounted on camera bodies
  • Smooth blur characteristics that render subjects more impressively
  • A Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast and quiet autofocusing

Press Release: Lexar Announces World’s Fastest Memory Card



New Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 Card Provides Read Transfer Speeds up to 500MB/s* in Capacities up to 256GB

Fremont, CA, January 6, 2014 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory products, today announced its technological leadership in the digital imaging market with the immediate sample availability of Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 cards and the Lexar Professional Workflow CFast 2.0 USB 3.0 reader for the Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution. The CFast 2.0 specification is the next generation of high performance memory cards designed for professional applications in still imaging and video capture.

Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 Card
With capacities available for sampling in 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, and 32GB, the Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 cards demonstrate new speed thresholds to capture high-quality images and 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video. Designed to maximize the capabilities of the next-generation of high-definition camcorders and high-resolution digital SLR cameras, the new cards provide a read transfer speed up to 3333x (500MB per second)*, which is three times faster than any CompactFlash card.** Additionally, the new Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 cards will support the Video Performance Guarantee (VPG-65) specification for professional-quality video capture, and includes the latest version of Image Rescue software.

Lexar Professional Workflow CR1
The new Lexar Professional Workflow CR1 is a CFast 2.0 USB 3.0 reader designed for the Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution, a four-bay reader hub that allows users to transfer RAW images, high-resolution photos, and HD, 3D, and 4K video files from up to four cards at once. Designed to mix and match reader formats, the Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution supports SDHC/SDXC UHS-I, UDMA 7 CompactFlash, XQD, and now CFast 2.0 formats. The readers are sold separately so users can configure the hub into an ideal solution that meets their individual workflow needs.

“The new Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 card will empower future users to break previous speed barriers while offering capacity options that meet the specific needs of professional photographers and videographers,” said Adam Kaufman, product marketing manager, Lexar. “In addition, by pairing this card with our new CFast 2.0 USB 3.0 reader, professionals will experience a dramatically accelerated workflow, cutting down post-production time and getting them back to the business of photography.”

The Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 card and Lexar Professional Workflow CR1 are currently sampling for future implementation.

You can purchase the new CFast 2.0 from Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama.

Press Release: Sigma Announces the 50 f/1.4 Art Lens & More



Sigma announced a new ART lens, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM. This is a completely new designed lens and not really a replacement for the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. Price and availability to be announced.

Staple lenses in Sigma lineup redesigned as part of the company’s Global Vision Rework

LAS VEGAS– Jan. 6, 2014 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the launch of two new Global Vision lenses from the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The improved and redesigned 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM and 50mm F1.4 DG HSM lenses are the latest additions to Sigma’s Global Vision lineup. Both lenses’ availability and pricing have yet to be announced.

“These two lenses are among our most popular, and we’re pleased to reintroduce these products by adding them to our Global Vision lineup,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “The 18-200mm, in particular, is an exciting new lens as it now has macro functionality, updated optics and a Global Vision design, making it a fantastic alternative to the kit lens. As has been the case with our recent Global Vision lenses, we expect an array of photographers to gravitate to their technically advanced features and slick new look.”

The 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens, designed specifically for APS-C DSLRs, is the successor to the 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM, which was launched in 2011. The smaller and lighter lens (15.2 ounces and 2.8×3.4 inches versus 17.3 ounces and 3×3.5 inches) now macro capabilities with a minimum focusing distance of 15.4 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3, as opposed to the lens’ earlier minimum focusing distance of 17.7 inches and max magnification ratio of 1:3.8. Its minimum working distance is 14.7 inches, which makes the lens suitable for close-up shooting with natural light, keeping shadows of the camera and lens out of the image.

The 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Macro has also been updated to incorporate Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements that have a high refractive index and can correct chromatic aberration at the telephoto-end. Moreover, aspherical lens elements, including double-sided aspherical lenses, will ensure a compact size and excellent correction of distortion.

The new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art has been reengineered and redesigned to set a new standard of performance in the Art line. A staple focal length, the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art is a pro level performer for full-frame DSLRs great for many different types of photography including portraits, landscapes, studio work and still-life. It has been updated to include SLD glass and optimized for rich peripheral brightness with improved large aperture performance by positioning wide elements into the front groups. Other updates include an optimized autofocus algorithm for smoother focusing and a floating focusing system to reduce lens movement while focusing. Under the Global Vision line, it features a new matte finish, improved AF on/off switch and guarantees every lens is tested with Sigma’s proprietary modulation transfer function (MTF) “A1” measuring system before being shipped. Now with 13 elements in 8 groups compared to the previous 8 elements in 6 groups, it also has improved close focusing at 15.7 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.6

Both lenses incorporate Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) system to produce quiet, high-speed auto focus. In addition, they include Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, and to ensure high-quality images throughout the entire zoom range. The 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM and 50mm F1.4 DG HSM lenses are also compatible with Sigma’s USB dock and the company’s Mount Conversion Service.

Other recently announced lenses and accessories such as the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM, 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | ART and USB Dock will be on display at Sigma’s CES booth. Visit Sigma at CES 2014 at booth 10431in Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Jan. 7 to 10.

Review: Luma Labs Cinch 2 Camera Strap



Overview : Unlike stock camera straps, Cinch is quickly adjustable. Cinch it down and you can walk around the park, climb a ridge, ride a bike, whatever. Then, when the moment is right, you can easily loosen it to take the shot.

Luma Labs Cinch sliders are made out of a unique carbon-ceramic polymer called Lumidium. They feature a super smooth adjusting action that lets you quickly change the length of your strap, yet they hold tight and secure when under tension. With one slider on each side, you easily and quickly modify the length to suit your current need, whether that’s carrying your camera around your neck, off one shoulder, or across your body. Move seamlessly from one style of carry to the next without missing a beat.

Features :
  • Made out of a unique carbon-ceramic polymer called Lumidium
  • Constructed from neoprene and elastic webbing assembled with a unique center zig-zag stich
  • The Cinch with Plate works with any Arca-compatable quick-release tripod clamp
  • Cinch adjusts from a minimum of 34.5in (57.5cm) to 57.5in (146cm)
  • Plate is made of the same carbon-ceramic Lumidium that the Cinch sliders are made of and its dovetail is sized to the unofficial standard for Acra-compatible plates. Its overall dimensions are 2.39in (6.07cm) by 1.54in (3.91cm) and it is 0.39in (1cm) thick.

Quality/Usability : You've probably never heard of Luma Labs but they're a small company located in the U.S.A. Luma Labs products are also made in the U.S.A. and not overseas like some other strap accessories.

If you look at our reviews, you'll notice that we've reviewed a lot of straps and holsters. I don't know why but I'm always looking for a new strap even if the one I'm currently using is comfortable and fits my needs.


This isn't their first or second strap. Their Luma Loop and LoopIt ran into some legal issues with a well known sling strap manufacturer but that's for a different topic. Due to that issue, Luma Labs didn't give up and redesigned their strap and released the Cinch 1. But the parts that made the Cinch was too costly to manufacturer and Luma Labs went back to the drawing board and released Cinch 2.


I never owned the Cinch 1 so I can't compare between the old strap and its predecessor. However, the Cinch 2 strap is made of durable neoprene material. The top side is plain black with some very nice stitching. This will blend in nicely with your clothing attire. The underside of the strap features some honeycomb rubber pattern. This prevents the strap from slipping or moving accidentally on your shoulder.


The Cinch 1 was popular for its metal pull tab but was costly to manufacturer and the complaints of it scratching the camera. With the Cinch 2, the metal pull tab was replaced with a unique carbon-ceramic polymer called Lumidium. This unique carbon-ceramic polymer called Lumidium is also used for the smaller buckle near the end of the nylon webbing that is used to loop through the camera. Both ends have the same setup so there is no wrong way of installing it or anything to distinguish which is the front and which is the back of the strap.

Installation of the strap is easy. You'll want to thread the webbing of the strap from the bottom of the strap loop of the camera, quick release plate or grip. Pull it through and take the end of the webbing and slide it under the buckle. Pull it through and slide it through the other end of the buckle and pull it through.

Once both ends of the strap is installed, to cinch the camera closer (make tighter), simply grab the sides of the cinch buckle and pull down. To loosen the strap, simply pull up on the bottom of the cinch buckle and the strap will lengthen.

Plate:


Luma Labs Arca-compatible plate with two camera strap mount points lets you change the way your camera hangs on your camera strap. They designed it for use with Cinch, but it works well with any camera strap.

Most camera plates are made out of machined or cast metal and are quite expensive as a result. They did something a bit different and put their new Lumidium ceramic-carbon polymer to work for them. It’s strong. It’s so light that I thought it was made of plastic. That's how light the plate was. It won’t conduct heat from your hands in the cold. To keep the plate from twisting on your camera, they gave it a surface made of 3M Bumpon—a resilient elastomer that grips the bottom of cameras like nobody’s business. The result is a plate that’s stronger and more durable than most, yet very affordable.


You have the option of installing the little screws. You can install both or just one. The purpose of these little screws is to prevent your camera from sliding off your Arca ball head. I placed one screw on the right side so that I can slide my camera from right to left and it will stop at a certain point since it can't go any further. If using both small screws, you won't be able to slide your camera in from any side but will have to insert it from the top. There's no screw threads on the plate so you'll have to align it properly for it to go in.

PodMount:


The PodMount turns any tripod mount into a point to connect a camera strap or one of their Loop Lanyards to. You can use it on the bottom of your camera or on the tripod mount on a lens collar. The included split key lets webbing move more freely while reducing potential fraying and allows for compatibility with their Quick Links.

Machined out of aircraft-grade stainless steel, the PodMount is designed to be durable and easy to use. You can easily screw and unscrew it from your camera or lens collar with your fingers. No additional tools necessary.

Membrane Connector:


Luma Labs low profile Membrane Connector sandwiches between your existing quick release plate and your camera, creating a new camera strap mount point. It’s a single piece of laser-cut Hyplon technical material, the same super thin, super lightweight, and super durable material used to make Zodiac boats. The Hyplon Membrane Connector is the perfect solution for using Cinch—or any other camera strap that is designed to attach to the bottom of your camera—with quick release plates that don’t provide their own camera strap mount point.

According to Luma Labs, they tested the fit of the Hyplon Membrane Connector on a wide range of cameras, from small Micro Four-Thirds format cameras up to the largest and biggest of 35mm professional digital SLRs, as well as a large number of plates from Manfrotto, Really Right Stuff, Induro, Kirk, and even some no name ones.

The one item that wasn't sent to us and that we were hoping to try out was the Quick Links. Threading camera straps can be annoying, especially if you do it regularly. Yet, you want your strap to be securely fastened to your camera. Quick Links are made in France and are smooth and easy to use.

Luma Labs also offers webbing kits for those who want to shorten or lengthen the Cinch strap. The webbing kit included with the Cinch 2 is regular length. The SHORT webbing kit which removes 3" of adjustment to both the front and back of your Cinch—for a total 6". The LONG webbing kit adds 5" of adjustment to both the front and back of your Cinch—for a total 10" additional adjustment.

Conclusion : Overall, the Luma Labs Cinch 2 Camera Strap is one of my top must own camera straps. It's very comfortable and easy to set up. I wish they had kept the pull tab but Luma Labs have looked into the incorporating the pull tab into the new design but felt this would hinder the design. The design decision came down to either having a compact part that slides super smooth but has no pull-tab, or have a giant slide (1.25" longer) that doesn't slide as smoothly but has a pull-tab. The end result is a new design that is smaller, lighter, stronger, modular, operates far more smoothly and causes less wear on the webbing.

Regardless of pull-tab or not, the design is still great and smooth and most importantly...comfortable.




Manufacturer: Luma Labs
Site: Buy from Luma Labs
Price: $60.00 (Cinch only) / $75.00 (Cinch with Plate) / $70.00 (Cinch with Podmount) / $70.00 (Cinch with Membrane)

Other Accessories:
$10.00 (Cinch Extra Long or Short Webbing Kit) / $10.00 (Quick Links) / $19 (Plate only) / $15.00 (Podmount only) / $15.00 (Membrane only)
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