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January 13, 2016
Posted in news

The “lost” new Sony RX1rII: Amazon says shipment time is between 1-2 months.

RX1rII

Sony Japan did yet not disclose any details about when they will resume the RX1RII camera shipment. So far Amazon US states the camera will ship within 1-2 months. And Michael told us this:

The only official note we got so far from Sony says that shipment in Japan has been postponed (reason unknown). But at the same time we noticed that US and EU stores have no camera in Stock anymore. I hope Sony will give us some official answer soon.

In th meantime here is a new Sony RX1R II Hands-on Review (vs. original RX1R, AF test, pics)

January 13, 2016
Posted in news

Soon to be announced: Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T/3.2) !

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SAR reader Mistral75 (Thanks!) spotted the details of the new Laowa STF(!) 105mm f/2.0 (T/3.2) lens:

After the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro 2:1 (here on eBay) and the Laowa 15mm f/4 Shift Macro 1:1 lenses (here on eBay), the Chinese company Anhui Changgeng Optical Technology Company Limited, better known as Venus Optics (see http://www.venuslens.net/about), will announce shortly a new 24×36 lens: the Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T/3.2).

It is a portrait lens with an apodization filter that gives a more progressive and velvety bokeh than an ordinary lens (STF stands for Smooth Trans Focus). This is the same principle as for the Minolta AF / Sony 135mm f/2.8 [T/4.5] STF and close to that of the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD.

Click on images to enlarge:

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The Laowa has the advantage over the Sony of being one EV brighter. Hereafter its main features:

– 11 elements, including the apodization filter, 1 element made of glass with high refractive index and 3 elements made of low dispersion glass, in 8 groups
– Manual focus (the apodization filter is hostile for phase-detection autofocus)
– Minimum focusing distance: 90cm
– Maximum magnification: 0.16x
– Filter diameter: 67mm
– Dimensions: 76 mm (maximum diameter) x 98.8 mm (length) (depending on lens mount)
– Weight: 746 g (depending on lens mount)
– Available mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony A and Sony E
– Available in black and silver
– Launch date: January 18, 2016
– Price in China: the equivalent of €500-550 (probably more in Western countries)

Image samples:

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You can find more details and many pictures taken with the lens on two threads from the Chinese forum Xitek:

http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1533456-1-1-1.html

http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1444928-1-1-1.html

In addition to the pictures in the threads referenced above, sample images are available for download from:

https://yunpan.cn/OcuWqL82CSKLPX password: 9351. 9 pictures taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (full-resolution jpeg files)

https://yunpan.cn/OcuWqBwTM7s9Bw password: CFAE. 1 picture taken with a Nikon D800 (full-resolution jpeg file) and 9 Canon RAW files (CR2)

You will also find a number of images (pictures of the lens, optical formula, MTF curves and a dozen of sample images as full-resolution jpeg files) in the dedicated Flickr album I have set up: https://flic.kr/s/aHsksPyYgn.

Kind regards
Mistral75

January 13, 2016
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…


Shit DSLR Fanboys Say

A 21mm for the 21st century: Zeiss Loxia 21mm (DearSusans).
Mirrorless Year in Review 2015 (Admiringlight).
New great A7s landscape pictures by Wimair.
Sony A7rII goes Canon (Joerghaag).

Hunter Press:I have a new video, and I strongly recommend that people do not buy the Neewer Battery grip for Sony a6000. https://youtu.be/JpYshvuJWXw

Jaakko:Just wanted to share a photo story that I did to Pinbike.com about Mountain Biking in the Lofoten islands in North Norway. Why this might interest you and the readers of SAR is because almost all of the photos are shot with Sony A7 or A7s cameras.( I think One of the photos is taken with A99). Haven´t seen that many outdoors, sports or action photographers with A7 series cameras. But I just love them. The form factor combined with IQ that good is just perfect for my style of shooting.
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/the-lofoten-islands.html

Umberto:Segnali di Luce – 4K: https://vimeo.com/150255889

David:I’m a Toronto based photographer and cinematographer. I wanted to share some footage I recently shot with the Sony FS5: https://vimeo.com/150053897

January 12, 2016
Posted in news

Sony at CES (Guest post by Kyle Andrew)

Guest post by Kyle Andrew:

Sony at CES 2016
There has been a lot of backlash in the Sony community that our beloved camera manufacturer didn’t choose to make more of a splash at CES than they did, similar to the cards Nikon played by introducing the D5 and D500 SLR’s to the market. And while users of the A99/A77/A58 (despite rumours that they may not even bother) continue to wait for a newer version utilizing some of Sony’s newest, next-level technology, I take the stance that CES 2016 would have been the wrong time to introduce any major new piece of equipment, lenses included.

Nikon
Nikon made a big splash and played their 2016 hand early at this years CES and frankly I completely understand why. See as Sony users, we must understand that Nikon right now is not in the business of trumping Sony rather they likely are comfortable with not only Sony’s marketshare and current market position, but also, their working relationship using Sony’s sensor technology. No, Nikon did not take a bite out of Sony’s momentum at CES, rather, used the show to put even more distance between themselves and Canon. The introduction of the D5 puts them well out in front of Canon in the ultra high speed and ultra high end shooting space, a market that Sony currently and for the foreseeable future, rightly or wrongly, has no foothold in. Sony’s position is at the forefront of mirrorless technology, aimed at portrait shooters, street shooters, and the bulk of the mid to high end camera purchasing market. It’s a strong and smart position to be in. Their only current competition is Nikon. As Sony shooters, we should be pleased with Nikon’s newest product announcements as it is extremely important for the growth of Sony to be pushed by its main competitors. Bravo to Nikon for releasing two great new Cameras.
However their big announcement is a niche product catering to only working professionals and hardcore hobbyists. It only shoots 4k for a couple of minutes, because this length of clip is all these people need. It’s not a design flaw, it is exactly what it needs to be. I believe that Sony is wise to avoid this market for now until their focusing technology makes yet another leap forward. The A7R II was a HUGE step for Sony in terms of…. everything, but specifically focusing. However if you’ve ever used a 1Dx or D4 then you know just how far they have to go still.

Canon
Uhhhhhhhh….. guys? You may want to consider stepping back into the game soon. You need to make a move sooner rather than later. Your 5Ds is a great piece of kit but its not enough. Get your 5D MK IV out ASAP and make it the best camera you’ve ever made or I fear for your future. It seems almost ridiculous to say, but this is coming from someone who still has a 5D MK II in his bag as a backup. Congratulations on the new Pixma printer or whatever it is you announced. I’m glad I can print to it from my iPhone. But you are losing marketshare and fast, and as a professional Sony shooter the last thing I want is for Canon to stop pushing innovation.
Please step up, for all our sakes.

Sony
Amazingly, the biggest announcement for Sony at CES didn’t come from them at all, rather it came from Phase introducing their 100 megapixel medium format back complete with a Sony Backlit Sensor. Make no mistake about it, this is all the publicity Sony needed from this show. It’s a fine demonstration of what they are capable of and a reminder of what they may or may not have on the horizon in 2016.
At this point, while it seems as though an update to the A99/A77/A58 is inevitable, I believe Sony’s main focus must be to roll out more professional level lenses, as they are currently lacking in truly fast zooms covering certain common lengths. That said, Sony’s pro imaging focus is still in its infancy, and they are learning fast. While I certainly have my share of complaints about my truly beloved A7R II, I can only wait in excitement to see what they bring to use next. They are gaining market share daily because they have the best sensor technology in the markets they are embedding themselves in. Simple. The rest of it will catch up, assuming they continue to innovate and learn from their mistakes (buffering technology anyone?).

For Sony to have released any sort of game changing product at this point in the year would have almost been a waste. Seemingly daily right now, they are being handed ‘Camera of the Year’ awards left right and center, and from a business perspective they would be wise to ride that wave as long as possible. I personally expect some new professional grade lens announcements at CP+ in February!

So if you are a Sony shooter, and if you are reading this website then you probably are, you should be very happy with where we sit, at the forefront of the all important sensor technology. 2016 is already shaping up to be a major leap forward in digital camera technology, industry ride, and my advice to anyone is to spend less time worry about what’s next online, and more time out in the real world shooting with what you already have.

Kyle Andrew is working professional photographer just outside of Toronto Canada that switched to Sony Based Equipment in the fall of 2015. You can see more of his work on his website (http://www.kyleandrew.com) follow him on Twitter/Periscope (http://www.twitter.com/kyleandrewphoto and http://www.periscope.tv/kyleandrewphoto) and Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/kyle_andrew)

January 12, 2016
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…


Sony a7R II vs. a7S II Part 1: Photography

The Best of 2015 All Made With Sony Mirrorless (Craig Litten).
Tutorial: Sunlight in Studio with Mackenzie (SonyAlphaForum).
A Black And White Walk Through CES2016 (Alphauniverse).
Leica Summicron-M 50/2 (SonyAlphaForum).
Get the most from the Smooth Reflections and Sky HDR apps (Fredmiranda).
New review of Sony RX1R II vs. RX1R, including an AF comparison and photos by Mirrorlessreviews.
Sony Zeiss 35/1.4 review with A7R full size sample shots at Pixelmania.

Heikki:Here’s some interesting looking photos I took with my A7s. https://www.facebook.com/stonelakephotography/posts/1534612653504953

Gregory:Here is a time lapse sequence of a cow being transformed into art made using a Sony A7RII and Sony 28mm F2 with attachments. https://youtu.be/Bz_YQeZP4ho

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