Tamron introduces ‘ultra-telephoto’ 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 zoom lens

Tamron has introduced what it is calling the ‘world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens,’ the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. The lens, designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor bodies, is equivalent to 29-640mm and 27-600mm, respectively.

Built-in Vibration Correction reduces shake by up to 2.5 stops, and the lens’ HLD focus motor promises ‘accurate and quiet’ focusing, according to Tamron. The HLD motor also keeps the overall size of the lens down: It’s 124mm/4.9in long and 79mm/3.1in in diameter. The lens has 7 circular aperture blades, a minimum subject distance of 0.45m/18in and is moisture-resistant. Nikon owners will be pleased to hear the the lens uses an electromagnetic diaphragm system.

The 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 will be available in late July for $649.

Press Release

INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FIRST1 ULTRA-TELEPHOTO ALL-IN-ONE ZOOM LENS WITH AN EXTENDED RANGE THAT COVERS 18-400MM

Dramatic extended range achieved by combining cutting-edge optical design and other new breakthrough technologies including a redesigned cam structure

18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028)

June 23, 2017, Commack, NY – Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the new 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028), the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers a focal length range of 18-400mm. Since the 1992 launch of its AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D), Tamron has dominated the all-in-one zoom category and has produced many lenses that cover wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges. Tamron has now developed an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom that extends to 400mm (35mm equivalent of 620mm) and a 22.2x zoom ratio. Packed in a light, compact body (4.8in./24.9oz.)2 is Tamron’s accumulated knowledge and experience for all-in-one zoom lenses, including the most advanced optical and mechanical designs, an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system and the Vibration Compensation system. Photographers can now enjoy wide-angle to ultra-telephoto photography using one lens, which is ideal for travel photography and eliminates the need to carry extra lenses. The new Model B028 lens enables photographing a wide variety of ultra-telephoto images including everyday casual scenes. The 18-400mm will be available in the U.S. at the end of July at $649.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The world’s first3 ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens to achieve 400mm telephoto

The new Model B028 is the world’s first lens for APS-C DSLR cameras that covers a focal length range of 18-400mm and achieves a zoom ratio of 22.2x. The focal length of 400mm on the telephoto end enables the capturing of ultra-telephoto pictures with the 35mm equivalent of 620mm angle of view. Now, with just this one lens, a photographer can readily enjoy the power of ultra-telephoto to bring distant subjects closer as well as the perspective-flattening effects that only extreme telephoto settings can achieve. This all-in-one zoom lens is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It allows a photographer to switch from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto without changing lenses, making it faster and easier to capture a much wider range of subjects including travel scenes, wildlife, action sports, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and food.

  1. Excellent image quality across the entire zoom range, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto and macro

The optical construction of the B028 consists of 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialized glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimizes wide-ranging aberrations, including chromatic aberrations and distortion, thereby assuring outstanding image quality. Optimum power distribution among the individual lens element groups achieves both the optical performance and the compact size necessary for an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens that boasts 400mm focal length. Also, it enables tele-macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9.

  1. Lightweight and compact design exhibits Tamron’s basic philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses

Despite being an all-in-one zoom lens that achieves 400mm ultra-telephoto, Model B028 is light and compact with a total length of 4.8in. and a weight of 24.9oz.4 A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming. Tamron’s philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses is to allow each photographer to casually capture everyday photos with a lens of a practical size, and Model B028 fulfills this philosophy.

  1. HLD motor provides high-precision AF and enables compact lens construction

The AF drive system for Model B028 uses Tamron’s exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.

  1. Equipped with the Vibration Compensation system necessary for ultra-telephotography at 400mm

Despite its compact size, Model B028 is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system, which effectively curbs camera shake under low light conditions (such as a dimly lit room or at dusk) and while taking ultra-telephoto pictures. This greatly expands opportunities for casual handheld shooting. The jitter-free stability of the viewfinder image allows for easier framing and enables the photographer to compose the subject quickly and comfortably.

  1. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses

The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses5. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

  1. User-friendly features for everyday comfortable use

With an eye toward active outdoor photography, Model B028 features Moisture-Resistant Construction to ensure worry-free shooting as well as confidence while shooting under adverse weather conditions. Also, the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.

  1. Compatible with TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product

The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

  1. External design placing importance on functionality and ease of use

While inheriting the design that makes use of many organic curves and the delicately polished form down to fine details that characterize the SP lens series, the new Model B028 comes with a highly sophisticated design that also places a lot of importance on the lens’s functionality and ease of use, featuring an overall form that faithfully encompasses the internal structures within, a slim Luminous Gold brand ring and the switch shape design.

[1] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
[2] Length and weight are based on the Nikon-mount lens
[3] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
[4] Length and weight are based on figures for the Nikon-mount lens.
[5] Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300S, D500) (As of May, 2017; Tamron) 

Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format sizeAPS-C / DX
Focal length18–400 mm
Image stabilizationYes (Up to 2.5 stops)
Lens mountCanon EF-S, Nikon F (DX)
Aperture
Maximum apertureF3.5–6.3
Minimum apertureF22–40
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades7
Optics
Elements16
Groups11
Special elements / coatingsLow dispersion, aspherical, hybrid aspherical elements
Focus
Minimum focus0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification0.34×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodExtending front
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight710 g (1.57 lb)
Diameter79 mm (3.11)
Length124 mm (4.88)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockYes
Filter thread72.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes

2017 Roundup: $1200-2000 ILCs: full-frame

Last updated: June 23, 2017

For those wanting to step up from entry-level to midrange ILCs, there are many things to consider, including the choice between a DSLR or mirrorless camera, what sensor size suits you best, how important video is to you, and of course the lens system.

While full-frame cameras typically offer superior low light image quality and more control over depth-of-field, crop-sensor cameras are extremely capable in their own right – and (usually) more compact and less costly.

We’ve split the $1200-2000 ILC marketplace into two segments – full-frame sensor cameras (discussed in this roundup) and crop-sensor (APS-C/Four Thirds) covered here.

This group of full-frame cameras is split right down the middle, with three DSLRs and three mirrorless models. Sony is, by far, the major player in the full-frame mirrorless market, with most of the other manufacturers sticking with DSLRs.

Here are the cameras we’ll cover in this enthusiast full-frame roundup:

Playing a Super Mario Bros. level with Hololens is the best case for AR we’ve seen

Developer Abhishek Singh makes a compelling case for wearing a headset and looking silly – he created an augmented reality Super Mario Bros. level and played through it in New York’s Central Park. Oh, and he dressed as Mario for the demo video below, which is the best thing ever.

Singh tells Upload VR that he had to re-think some of the game elements to make it playable on a human scale – Mario can jump much higher than any plumber we know. Of course, there would be some obvious challenges bringing a game like this to the masses. But we’ve got our fingers crossed for a future of virtual reality includes life-size Koopas and gold coins.

NASA ortbiter snaps aerial photo of lonesome Mars Curiosity rover

The bright blue dot at the center of this photo by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is actually NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, going about its lonely mission on the Red Planet. © Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

No human photographer could capture this aerial photograph. That’s because this image is literally out of this world – it was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 5th, and shows the Mars Curiosity Rover as it traverses the red planet, approximately 241,500,000 miles away from where I sit typing this right now.

It’s hard to spot, and you have to look really closely, but there’s a small blue dot in the very middle of the photograph above. This closer crop might help:

There, amid the Martian landscape, you can actually see the Curiosity rover as it trekked along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, on its way to ‘Vera Rubin Ridge.’

The photograph was taken by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which captures a red band, blue -green band, and an infrared band, combining these together to form an RGB image. Because of this, the photograph is not a so-called ‘true color’ image, and the orbiter appears bluer than it actually is.

Oh, and if you’re curious, you can actually see what Curiosity was seeing when this photo was captured. The rover was using its Mast Camera to shoot these photographs of the Martian landscape while its picture was taken.

No, you don’t need a $100 permit to take snapshots in Laguna Beach

Photo by Don Graham. Licensed under CC 2.0

The city of Laguna Beach has cleared up some confusion about its photography permit policy. A broad interpretation of one of its two photography permits created a minor uproar recently, as many people took it to mean that the city was requiring a $100 permit for anyone taking photos. It seems now that this wasn’t the intention.

As it stands, the city has two permits for two different types of photography: commercial and ‘non-commercial’; the latter has a $50/hr rate with a minimum of two hours required. This meant, as the policy was interpreted, that anyone taking photos – including personal photos – in Laguna Beach were required to buy a $100 permit.

The non-commercial permit category’s vague description resulted in quite a bit of public complaint, and the city has chosen to rename it as a result, leaving only talk about true commercial photography on its website’s related permit page. The category was never intended to cover casual personal photography, according to a city official speaking to OC Weekly. Rather, the ‘non-commercial’ permit category was created as a cheaper alternative to the primary commercial permit, giving photographers an option for ‘less complicated photo shoots such as engagement photos.’

The city’s website still specifies two different photography permits, but one with a new name: commercial and ‘professional still photo.’ The latter carries the same $100/2hr minimum as the former ‘non-commercial’ category, explaining that this option is for ‘single camera shoots such as engagement photos, wedding photos, family portraits, holiday cards, etc.’ Nothing about the permit policy except the ‘non-commercial’ verbiage has changed. However, it is now clear that personal, non-compensated photography doesn’t require a permit.

Via: OC Weekly

Yi announces development of 180 VR camera with Google

Yi, which already has VR offerings in the Halo and 360 VR cameras, is announcing the development of a new, stereo 3D camera called the 180 VR. They’re working directly with Google Daydream, and promise it will be easy to use, and easy to view.

Any real details regarding the product, including pricing and availability are still to come.

Press release:

YI Technology Announces Upcoming VR180 Camera with Google

ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 22, 2017 – Today at VidCon 2017, the annual conference for online video fans, creators, and industry leaders, it was announced that YI is working with Daydream on an upcoming VR180 camera. Later this year YI Technology will deliver a new stereo, 3D camera, designed from the ground up for VR180. Technical details, pricing, exact availability dates, quantities and the product name remain undisclosed but together with Daydream, this camera will be as easy to use and as compact as a 2D camera. And 3D videos and livestreams will be just as easy to upload to YouTube.

This camera will just be the latest in YI Technology’s growing line of advanced yet approachable virtual reality solutions, including most recently, YI Halo, the most advanced, cinematic quality VR camera ever, and the YI 360 VR Camera, the first high-end, live-streaming VR camera for everyone.

To learn more as details are announced, and to be considered for early shipments, please visit the pre-launch website, www.yitechnology.com/180-vr-camera and to learn more about YI Technology’s other current VR offerings go to yitechnology.com/yi-360-vr-camera and yitechnology.com/yi-halo-vr-camera. To learn more about Daydream’s VR180 program go to vr.google.com/vr180.

About YI Technology:

YI is the leading provider of advanced, intelligent video, imaging and computer vision technologies. We are inspired by a singular, bold vision of a future powered by widespread, intelligent, video technology, where smart cameras everywhere will make people’s lives safer, richer and more fun.

We are passionately dedicated to, and humbled by, the mission to make even the most sophisticated, ground-breaking, complex innovations useful every day to everyone from high-end professionals to kids. We work incredibly hard toward these goals across a large and growing range of offerings. But across them all we stand by a consistent set of values and standards that combine the very best technology, the very best design, and great value.

At YI Technology we are committed to the promise that such technology will extend everyone’s reach so they can…

See Everything.

Caltech research team develops lensless camera

Image: Caltech

Smartphone cameras have improved considerably over the past few years but despite innovations such as image stacking and dual cameras with image fusion technology the cameras are still limited by the laws of physics. This becomes particularly evident when looking at the ‘tele’ lenses that have cropped up on some recent high-end smartphones with dual cameras, such as the iPhone 7 Plus or Xiaomi Mi6.

Due to space constraints in the slim smartphone bodies these lenses use smaller sensors and offer considerably slower apertures than their wide angle counterparts which makes them a lot less usable in lower light conditions. However, now it looks like a research team at Caltech could have found a solution to the problem. They have developed an ‘optical phased array’ chip that uses algorithms instead of a lens to focus the incoming light beam. A time delay which can be as short as a quadrillionth of a second, is added to the light captured at different locations on the chip. This allows for modifying focus without a lens.

Professor Ali Hajimiri says the system ‘can switch from a fisheye to a telephoto lens instantaneously – with just a simple adjustment in the way the array receives light.’ The existing 2D, lensless camera array consists of an 8×8 grid with 64 sensors and is capable of capturing a low resolution image of a barcode. The current image results are a long way from current smartphone cameras but at this point the system is only a proof of concept and potential commercial applications are a few years in the future. The team’s next objective is to use larger receivers that are more sensitive and capable of capturing higher-resolution images.

Pricing for Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and 24-70 F2.8 DG OS HSM Art lenses announced, undercuts the competition

Announced in February, two highly anticipated full-frame lenses from Sigma are finally on their way to consumers. Sigma has also announced pricing – the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM will cost $1600; the 24-70mm F2.8 Art will cost $1300. In both cases, that’s well below the current asking prices for Canon and Nikon versions of similar lenses.

Sigma says the 14mm in Canon and Sigma mount will ship this month, and the Nikon version will be available in July. The 24-70mm will ship for all three mounts this month. Considering there’s not much time left in June, that’s basically now.

Press release

Sigma Begins Shipping Its 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lenses

The world’s first and only F1.8 ultra wide-angle full-frame lens for DSLR cameras is available now for $1,599.00 USD; the new Sigma Global Vision workhorse zoom lens is available now for $1,299.00 USD

Ronkonkoma, NY – June 22, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, announced today the pricing and availability for its new Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art lenses from its lauded Global Vision line. The ultra-wide angle full-frame 14mm F1.8 Art lens begins shipping in June 2017 for Canon and Sigma camera systems and in July 2017 for Nikon camera systems, for a retail price of $1,599.00 USD. The standard zoom full-frame 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens begins shipping in June 2017 for a retail price of $1,299 USD.

The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art, which is the first and only F1.8 ultra wide-angle lens among interchangeable lenses for digital SLRs*, incorporates the same aspherical element as Sigma’s critically acclaimed 12-24mm F4 Art, allowing the lens to deliver a new dimension of visual experience. Boasting outstanding image quality from center to edge, the 14mm F1.8 Art features an 80mm front lens — the world’s largest glass aspherical lens in the industry, offering photographers an ultra-wide prime with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Equipped with a superfast and efficient autofocus system, three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) elements, and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements to reduce chromatic aberration and coma flare, the 14mm F1.8 Art is suitable for a wide range of photographic needs including astrophotography, architecture and landscape photography.

The 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens, Sigma’s new workhorse standard zoom lens, touts a brand new Optical Stabilizer (OS), Hypersonic Motor (HSM) for highly efficient and fast autofocus, as well as a dust- and splash-proof mount with rubber sealing. The 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens embodies all the technical qualities and finesse that define the high-performance Sigma Global Vision Art series. A popular industry focal range covering a wide array of shooting scenarios, the 24-70mm’s optical design also includes three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements and four aspherical elements to ensure image accuracy and sharpness. The 24-70mm F2.8 Art aspherical elements use Sigma’s thicker center glass design and highly precise polishing process, delivering stunning images and bokeh effects. The lens’ purpose-built structure boasts a new metal barrel for optimal durability with TSC composite internal moving components designed to resist thermal contraction and expansion.

Both the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and the 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art lenses are available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Sigma and Canon mount lenses work with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.

Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Lens Features and Benefits:

> Sharp, rich image quality

  • Minimized chromatic aberrations: Three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and four SLD (Super Low Dispersion) glass elements help reduce transverse chromatic aberration, which tends to be noticeable in shots taken with ultra wide-angle lenses. The result is outstanding image quality from the center of the image to the edges.
  • Distinctive bokeh effect: Even at the 14mm ultra wide-angle of view, F1.8 brightness makes possible a very shallow depth of field with the subject standing out dramatically against a pleasingly softened background. It’s the unique mode of expression that only a large-diameter lens can deliver.
  • Minimized distortion: Serving as the front lens element, the large 80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens effectively minimizes distortion. Offering excellent peripheral brightness, this lens delivers outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.

> Offers full-frame coverage

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM OS Art Lens Features and Benefits:

> Superior optical performance

  • Optimal image quality for ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs: This lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image thanks to the optical system minimizing coma, which causes points of light to streak, and transverse chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected via aperture control. The optical system also minimizes distortion, which can be particularly evident in wide-angle shots, resulting in excellent optical performance throughout the zoom range.
  • Expressive bokeh effect every time: At wide-open aperture, this lens offers outstanding photographic expression. The area in focus is extremely sharp, while the background exhibits a beautiful, creamy bokeh effect with only slight spherical aberration. Since large-diameter zoom lenses are often used at wide-open aperture, Sigma has paid close attention to the shape of the bokeh, aiming for artistic circularity.
  • Aspherical Lens Processing Technology: The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art incorporates an aspherical lens element that helps achieve extremely high resolution. This element is much thicker at the center than the edges, and forming its unusual shape is a feat of manufacturing technology. Moreover, Sigma processes the surface of this aspherical lens element with ultra-precise tolerances that are measured in hundredths of a micrometer. This extremely fine surface allows the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art to deliver a very natural and smooth bokeh effect, without the visible concentric rings that afflict typical aspherical lens elements.

> Fast and nimble autofocus photography

  • Designed for advanced utility in a wide variety of situations, the optical stabilizer (OS) offers a powerful stabilization effect. The newly designed large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers 1.3 times the torque of its predecessor for exceptionally stable performance.

Sigma Global Vision Line Features & Benefits:

  • Each lens is eligible for user customizable micro-focus and in-home firmware updates with the optional USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software.
  • Each unit is crafted in Aizu, Japan and individually tested for QC and optical performance with the exclusive A1 MTF device.
  • Sigma’s Exclusive Mount Conversion Service allows lenses to be switched between any released mounts (fee-based).
  • Compatible with Sigma Mount Converter MC-11, allowing use of Sigma lenses in Sigma and Canon mounts with the Sony E-mount camera systems.

*As of February 2017

Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and 24-70 F2.8 DG OS HSM Art lenses now shipping

Announced in February, two highly anticipated full-frame lenses from Sigma are finally on their way to consumers. Sigma has also announced pricing – the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM will cost $1600 and the 24-70mm F2.8 Art will cost $1300. Sigma says the 14mm in Canon and Sigma mount will ship this month, and the Nikon version will be available in July. The 24-70mm will ship for all three mounts this month. Considering there’s not much time left in June, that’s basically now.

Press release

Sigma Begins Shipping Its 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lenses

The world’s first and only F1.8 ultra wide-angle full-frame lens for DSLR cameras is available now for $1,599.00 USD; the new Sigma Global Vision workhorse zoom lens is available now for $1,299.00 USD

Ronkonkoma, NY – June 22, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, announced today the pricing and availability for its new Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art lenses from its lauded Global Vision line. The ultra-wide angle full-frame 14mm F1.8 Art lens begins shipping in June 2017 for Canon and Sigma camera systems and in July 2017 for Nikon camera systems, for a retail price of $1,599.00 USD. The standard zoom full-frame 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens begins shipping in June 2017 for a retail price of $1,299 USD.

The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art, which is the first and only F1.8 ultra wide-angle lens among interchangeable lenses for digital SLRs*, incorporates the same aspherical element as Sigma’s critically acclaimed 12-24mm F4 Art, allowing the lens to deliver a new dimension of visual experience. Boasting outstanding image quality from center to edge, the 14mm F1.8 Art features an 80mm front lens — the world’s largest glass aspherical lens in the industry, offering photographers an ultra-wide prime with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Equipped with a superfast and efficient autofocus system, three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) elements, and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements to reduce chromatic aberration and coma flare, the 14mm F1.8 Art is suitable for a wide range of photographic needs including astrophotography, architecture and landscape photography.

The 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens, Sigma’s new workhorse standard zoom lens, touts a brand new Optical Stabilizer (OS), Hypersonic Motor (HSM) for highly efficient and fast autofocus, as well as a dust- and splash-proof mount with rubber sealing. The 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens embodies all the technical qualities and finesse that define the high-performance Sigma Global Vision Art series. A popular industry focal range covering a wide array of shooting scenarios, the 24-70mm’s optical design also includes three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements and four aspherical elements to ensure image accuracy and sharpness. The 24-70mm F2.8 Art aspherical elements use Sigma’s thicker center glass design and highly precise polishing process, delivering stunning images and bokeh effects. The lens’ purpose-built structure boasts a new metal barrel for optimal durability with TSC composite internal moving components designed to resist thermal contraction and expansion.

Both the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM and the 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art lenses are available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Sigma and Canon mount lenses work with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.

Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Lens Features and Benefits:

> Sharp, rich image quality

  • Minimized chromatic aberrations: Three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and four SLD (Super Low Dispersion) glass elements help reduce transverse chromatic aberration, which tends to be noticeable in shots taken with ultra wide-angle lenses. The result is outstanding image quality from the center of the image to the edges.
  • Distinctive bokeh effect: Even at the 14mm ultra wide-angle of view, F1.8 brightness makes possible a very shallow depth of field with the subject standing out dramatically against a pleasingly softened background. It’s the unique mode of expression that only a large-diameter lens can deliver.
  • Minimized distortion: Serving as the front lens element, the large 80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens effectively minimizes distortion. Offering excellent peripheral brightness, this lens delivers outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.

> Offers full-frame coverage

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM OS Art Lens Features and Benefits:

> Superior optical performance

  • Optimal image quality for ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs: This lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image thanks to the optical system minimizing coma, which causes points of light to streak, and transverse chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected via aperture control. The optical system also minimizes distortion, which can be particularly evident in wide-angle shots, resulting in excellent optical performance throughout the zoom range.
  • Expressive bokeh effect every time: At wide-open aperture, this lens offers outstanding photographic expression. The area in focus is extremely sharp, while the background exhibits a beautiful, creamy bokeh effect with only slight spherical aberration. Since large-diameter zoom lenses are often used at wide-open aperture, Sigma has paid close attention to the shape of the bokeh, aiming for artistic circularity.
  • Aspherical Lens Processing Technology: The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art incorporates an aspherical lens element that helps achieve extremely high resolution. This element is much thicker at the center than the edges, and forming its unusual shape is a feat of manufacturing technology. Moreover, Sigma processes the surface of this aspherical lens element with ultra-precise tolerances that are measured in hundredths of a micrometer. This extremely fine surface allows the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art to deliver a very natural and smooth bokeh effect, without the visible concentric rings that afflict typical aspherical lens elements.

> Fast and nimble autofocus photography

  • Designed for advanced utility in a wide variety of situations, the optical stabilizer (OS) offers a powerful stabilization effect. The newly designed large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers 1.3 times the torque of its predecessor for exceptionally stable performance.

Sigma Global Vision Line Features & Benefits:

  • Each lens is eligible for user customizable micro-focus and in-home firmware updates with the optional USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software.
  • Each unit is crafted in Aizu, Japan and individually tested for QC and optical performance with the exclusive A1 MTF device.
  • Sigma’s Exclusive Mount Conversion Service allows lenses to be switched between any released mounts (fee-based).
  • Compatible with Sigma Mount Converter MC-11, allowing use of Sigma lenses in Sigma and Canon mounts with the Sony E-mount camera systems.

*As of February 2017

Getting the shot: macro photos of paint and water that look like CGI

Vibrant colors of acrylic paint billow into clouds inside a water tank. © Photo by Alberto Seveso

Illustrator and photographer Alberto Seveso‘s paint photography is out of this world. His images – macro photos of billowing clouds of color – look like they were generated by an animation program. But as he tells DPReview, it’s all very real.

The process itself, says Seveso, is quite easy: just pour varnish or acrylic colors into a water tank and take a burst of photos. Understanding exactly how to do that – what light you need, what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t work – is the time-consuming part.

‘I spent a lot of time building all the stuff I use to shoot varnish into the water, and it’s still a work in progress,’ Seveso tells DPReview. ‘It’s very important to find the right light and, the hardest part, find the perfect mix between varnish and water and the way to pour this mix into the tank… not too fast not too slow.’

For his pictures, he uses either a Canon EOS 60D or Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon EF-S 60mm F2.8 macro lens attached. The tank is lit by either fluorescent light (personal projects) or higher quality tungsten Fresnel lights (for commercial assignments), two on either side of the tank, placed in front of either a black background or a softbox if he’s shooting on white.

You can see the setup for yourself in the BTS shots below:

And here is a video Sony made to show off Seveso’s paint work (and sell some phones and tablets while they’re at it):

Seveso says he was inspired to create this kind of photography in 2009, when he saw ‘something similar but classic,’ probably ink drops in water.

‘I realized there was more to explore, different materials to mix, so I started to experiment with different kinds of liquid like acrylic colors, different types of oils, sparkling water, gels, metallic colors, ice, food coloring, and other things,’ he says. ‘Over the years, I’ve tried to develop a personal approach to this technique, developing the project in a very personal way and trying to focus on the details.’

Translation: macro photography.

These close-up, colorful photographs have become Seveso’s calling card. And what a gorgeous calling card they are.

Before we let Alberto go, we asked him one more question. Does he have any advice or tips for people who would like to try this kind of paint photography for themselves?

His answer?

‘Practice,’ he told us emphatically. ‘It takes a lot of practice to understand the exact mix between liquids to get separate colors, details and color filaments – this is perhaps the hardest part.’

To see more of Alberto’s work, visit his website or follow him on Behance, Facebook, and Instagram.